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974,3 
C86h 
1359862 



GENEALOGY COLLECTION 



ALLEN COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY 



3 1833 00055 6412 




Pre: 



Rev. Henry Crocker 

(lent of the \'ermont Baptist Historical Society 



HISTORY ' 



OF THE 



Baptists In Vermont 



BY 

REV. HENRY CROCKER 



bellows falls, vt. 

The p. H. Gobie Press 

1913 



Copyrighted 1913 

by 

The Vermont Baptist State Convention 



PREFACE 
13598G2 

"'Other men labored and ye are entered into their labors." 

The importance of preserving material for a history of Ver- 
mont Baptists was recognized by a few persons at an early date. 
In the minutes of The Shaftsbury Association of 1794, is this note: 
*'N. B. It is the request of some of the members of this Associa- 
tion, that the several Associations with whom we correspond would 
print their annual minutes in sizable octavo. By this we judge a 
valuable end might be answered; by being all of one size they might 
easily be reduced to a volume, without any expense; being ranged 
in order from year to year, and bound together, they will naturally 
be preserved. The various circular letters they contain will be 
richly worthy of })erusal and preservation; they will contain a l)ody 
of divinity, in a familiar style of letter writing. This method fol- 
lowed a few years will produce at once a more extensiAC history, 
and accurate register of the Baptists in America, than any other. 
It will at least contain particular and extensive information, for 
rising generations, without any expense but merely the care of pre- 
serving. To this end an octavo size will be best. " 

Unfortunately this suggestion as to uniformity of size was not 
heeded, but the prediction concerning the value of the minutes as 
sources of history was correct, and much credit is due those who pre- 
served the minutes and to others who have collected the files now 
available for reference in our Historical Societies. For many years, 
however, a vast amount of history was in the archives of the peo- 
ple 's memory, and much has been lost, for lack of a timely historian. 

In 1841, the State Convention took definite steps to secure a 
history of Vermont Baptists. Brethren A. Churchill, D. Haskall 
and M. Field were appointed a committee for this purpose. They 
reported that they found in the hands of Brother Churchill a num- 



ber of histories of the churches, but not in condition to enable them 
to come to a definite conclusion on the subject of publication. 
They recommended that a committee be appointed to receive 
further communications from the churches, and to prepare a con- 
densed history, to be inserted, if practicable, in The Vermont Gaz- 
eteer, about to be published by Mr. Thompson of Burlington. 
Rev. C. A. Thomas was appointed chairman of this committee 
and instructed to prepare the article for the Gazeteer. During the 
next year the article was prepared and forwarded. Mr. Churchill 
reported that a goodly number of churches had made returns, yet 
there were several from which no returns had been received. 
Brethren A. Churchill and C. A. Thomas were appointed to prose- 
cute the work of collecting the history of the Baptists, with in- 
structions to report at the next meeting of the Convention. 

Near the close of the session in 1843, a box was presented to 
the Convention from Brother A. Churchill, containing copies of the 
minutes of the several Associations, biographies of deceased Bap- 
tist ministers, histories of individual churches and other material 
which he had collected within a few years at great trouble and ex- 
pense, for the purpose of enabling the Convention to issue a full and 
accurate history of the Baptists of Vermont. 

The box was received with thanks, and a committee consisting 
of C. A. Thomas, B. Brierly and one other was appointed to examine 
the material and see what could be done to arrange it for the press. 
The committee reported the material worthy of preservation, and 
recommended that a committee of nine persons, one from each 
Association in the State, be appointed to prepare from information 
already collected and which may be collected, an article including 
the histories of the churches in his own Association, together with 
a history of the Association itself. These articles were to be pre- 
pared and handed in at the next session of the Convention. An able 
committee was appointed, consisting of N. Dennison, L. A. Dunn, 
I. Keach, J. Clement, W. M. Guilford, M. G. Hodge, M. D. Miller, 
C. W. Hodges, J. M. Rockwood. This committee was reappointed 
the next year and Brother L. Hayden of Saxtons River was ap- 
pointed a committee of oversight of the Avhole, during the year, 



PREFACE 3 

to bring together the whole history and report to the Convention. 

This general committee failing to accomphsh the work, a new 
committee was appointed and L. Hayden continued as a committee 
of oversight. For two 3 ears this committee simply reported pro- 
gress and was discharged. 

A special committee then made the following report : 

"Whereas, a committee of this body has been annually ap- 
pointed for several years past to collect materials for a History of 
the Baptists of this State and, whereas, it seems from reports that 
nearly all has been done by way of such committee scattered 
through the different Associations as can be expected; and, whereas, 
the work, if published at all, must be compiled, not only from ma- 
terial already obtained, but from additional facts obtained per- 
sonally by the compiler; therefore, 

"Resolved, that we recommend the appointment of a com- 
mittee of three located conveniently near for consultation with each 
other whose duty it shall be to procure if possible some person com- 
petent to take the manuscripts already prepared, and who will de- 
vote his own personal attention to collecting additional facts, and 
compiling and publishing the work on his own responsibility, aided 
by the counsel of said committee in the discharge of his responsible 
trust. 

"Resolved, that we recommend to such compiler and pub- 
lisher to visit most of the churches personally, collecting material 
for the history, and obtaining subscribers to the book when pub- 
lished. " 

These resolutions were adopted, and A. Sabin, M. G. Hodge 
and C. A. Thomas were appointed the committee. The committee 
failed to find the historian able and willing to undertake the work. 
The whole subject was then by vote referred to the several Associa- 
tions with a recommendation that they severally prepare histories 
of their bodies, and ])ul)lish them in their minutes. Here the Con- 
vention rested their efforts for many years. The Shaftsbury As- 
sociation found in Stephen Wright a historian for their body, and 
a history of four hundred and sixty-two pages octavo was pub- 
lished. From time to time church histories and historical ad- 
dresses were printed in the minutes. 



In 1868, Rev. Cyprian Frenyear, a zealous and laborious stu- 
dent of Vermont Baptist history, began collecting historical ma- 
terial, and it was his ardent desire to prepare a history of the de- 
nomination in the State. He died in 1876, before his hopes could be 
realized. 

The Vermont Baptist Historical Society was then organized, 
and purchased of Mrs. Frenyear the collection of her husband's 
papers. William Randall, Charles Hibbard, R. L. Olds, T. H. 
Archibald, S. T. Archibald and others have added to this collection. 

Rev. T. H. Archibald was the next to undertake the production 
of the history. He was recognized by the Convention as its his- 
torian and appropriation was made to compensate him for work 
done. He, too, passed on before this work was accomplished, and 
the work of revising his manuscripts and completing the history 
fell to his son, Rev. S. H. Archibald, who died in 1904, also leaving 
the work unfinished. 

The Archibald manuscripts became the property of the State 
Convention. 

It was at this point that the work of the editor of this volume 
began. Relieved from the cares of a pastorate, he volunteered to 
prepare the Archibald manuscripts for the press, supposing that 
there was little to be done but to copy pen written manuscripts 
upon the typewriter. But these papers, though interesting and \'alu- 
able, were found to be far from complete, and the publication of 
them as a history of Vermont Baptists would have proved inade- 
quate and unsatisfactory. This led to a careful examination of 
the accumulated historical material, to a purpose to edit, 
and publish whatever is of interest and value, following practically 
the plan proposed by Cyprian Frenyear as outlined in the minutes 
of the Shaftsbury Association in 1875. Upon the announcement of 
this purpose, the Vermont Baptist Historical Society appointed 
Rev. Henry Crocker, Rev. J. R. Gow, D. D., and Hon. W. W. 
Stickney, a historical committee, and at the request of the histo- 
rical society the State Convention appointed Willard Crane, Col. 
Silas A. Ilsley and Dr. H. M. Holton a committee to cooperate 
with the above named committee in planning for the publication 
of the historj\ 



PREFACE 5 

To Rev. W. A. Davison, D. D., secretary of the Board and 
superintendent of missions, was committed the problems incident 
to securing subscriptions and funds necessary to launch the work. 
At his suggestion, several brethren, beside the joint committee, sub- 
scribed liberally toward the cost of manuscript and publication. 

The final business arrangements were committed to Mr. Davi- 
son, Henry Bond and the editor, Henry Crocker., 

Someone has said, "By failures we may estimate difficulties. " 
If it had })een an easy task the history of Vermont Baptists would 
have been written long ago. Difficulty has long defeated desire. 
Great credit is due to those who, wishing to publish the history, col- 
lected a great amount of material which they were compelled to 
pass on to a successor. Three names are worthy of special honor 
in this connection: Churchill, Frenyear and Archibald. The little 
box given by Churchill to the Convention, and the tin-lined trunk 
containing most of the Frenyear collection, together with the files 
of minutes carefully collected and preserved in the Historical So- 
ciety 's hbrary, have been the mine from which most of the facts 
here given have been taken. Some of the narratives are given as 
they were written long ago. It has been impossible to give the au- 
thority in many instances, as the papers are unsigned, and it has 
not been thought necessary in other cases to use quotation marks 
or notes. 

It is a satisfaction to know that facts long concealed or known 
to but few can now be known by many, and we may cherish the 
hope that the backward look will incite to more earnest efforts 
for the upbuilding of the Kingdom of Christ among the Green 
Mountains and the fertile valleys of Vermont. 



CONTENTS 



Chapter I. 
Chapter II. 
Chapter III. 

Chapter IV. 



Chapter V. 
Chapter VI. 
Chapter VII. 

Chapter VIII. 
Chapter IX. 

Chapter X. 
Chapter XI. 
Chapter XII. 

Chapter XIII. 
Chapter XIV. 

Chapter XV. 
Chapter XVI. 

Chapter XVII. 



Beginnings west of the Green Moun- 
tains in Shaftsbury, Pownal and 

Wallingford 13-33 

Shaftsbury Association, and Caleb 
Blood's Account of his Missionary 

Journey 3.5-o4 

Itinerant Missionaries from the 
Massachusetts Baptist Mission- 
ary Society and the Maine Bap- 
tist Missionary Society 55-59 

Later accounts of the churches in 
Shaftsbury, Pownal and Walling- 
ford 61-69 

The Vermont Association 71-78 

Manchester Association 79-00 

Other churches in the Vermont and 

Shaftsbury Associations 81-118 

Addison County Association 119-13'-2 

Churches in the Addison Associa- 
tion Group 133-159 

Revivals 161-171 

Ecclesiastical Legislation 173-175 

Beginnings east of the Green Moun- 
tains 177-184 

The Windham Comity Association. . 185-194 
Later Account of the churches in the 

Windham County Association. . . . 195-223 

The Woodstock Association 225-240 

Later Account of the Churches in the 

Woodstock Association 241-283 

Barre Association, now Central Ver- 
mont Association 285-311 



CONTENTS 7 

Chapter XVIII. Caledonia and Orleans Counties, 
Danville Association and its 

Churches 313-327 

Chapter XIX. Franklin and Lamoille Counties, 

Pioneers and Early Churches 327-341 

Chapter XX. Richmond, Faii-field, Onion River, 

and Lamoille Associations 343-352 

Chapter XXI. Churches of the Lamoille Association 353-426 
Chapter XXII. Vermont Baptist State Convention. 427-519 
Chapter XXIII. Education, Ministerial Education, 
Academies, New Ham])ton Theolo- 
gical and Literary Institution 521-558 

Chapter XXIV. Sunday School Work 559-568 

Chapter XXV. Vermont Baptist Bible Society 569-511 

Chapter XXVI. Vermont Baptist Historical Society. 573-574 
Chapter XXVII. Vermont Baptist Young Peoples' 

Union 575-577 

Chapter XXVIII. Gifts of Vermont Baptists to Home 
and Foreign Missions. Their Mis- 
sionaries 

Chapter XXIX. Women's Missionary Societies, Home 

and Foreign 593-()()3 

Chapter XXX. Promhient Laymen 599-603 

Chapter XXXI. The Free Baptist in \'ermont 605 

Appendices: 

Roll of Baptist and Free Baptist Churches Chrono- 
logically Arranged 621 

Roll of Baptist and Free Baptist Churches Al[)haheti- 

cally Arranged 628 

List of Extinct Churches Chronologically .\rranged 6;?2 

List of Extinct Churches .Mphahetically Arranged (i.'U 

State Convention Compendium (i.')9 

Vermont Baptist Sunday School Convention Com- 
pendium (ill 

Compendium of Shaftsbury Association (i42 

Compendium of Addison Association 644 



8 CONTENTS 

Compendium of Vermont Association 646 

Compendium of Woodstock Association 647 

Compendium of Windham County Association 650 

Compendium of Vermont Central Association 651 

Compendium of Danville Association 653 

Compendium of Lamoille ^Association 655 

Api)ropriations of the State Convention to the churches 

from beginning in 1824 to 1912 658 

Index 677 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

Rev. Henry Crocker Frontispiece 

Shaftsbury Baptist Church 16 

Rev. S. H. Archibald 67 

C. A. Thomas, D. D 89 

Dea. E. M. Bixby 94 

Ilsley Memorial Baptist Church 15.5 

Col. S. A. Ilsley 160 

Rev. Aaron Leland 18o 

Dea. Jacob Estey 207 

A. B. Clark 214 

Dr. Henry D. Holton 224 

Dea. B. A. Park 245 

Hon. Fred G. Field 248 

O. H. Henderson 325 

Rev. Alvah Sabin .'558 

Rev. Ezra Butler 390 

Hon. Lawrence Barnes 398 

Dea. Willard Crane 405 

David G. Crane 419 

Brandon Baptist Church 42(5 

Hon. W. W. Stickney 455 

Howard Crane 470 

William A. Davison, D. D 501 

Hon. J. J. Estey 505 

Henry Bond 514 

John A. Greenwood 519 

Hon. Levi K. Fuller 545 

New Hampton Literary i\ud Theolooicjd Listitntion 553 

Arthur G. Crane 569 

Hon. Fred M. Butler 600 



INTRODUCTION 



THE meeting and mingling of several currents of social and 
religious life made the beginning of Baptist history in Ver- 
mont a rapid and powerful movement. The tide of im- 
migration, long restrained, came in with a sudden rise when once 
the dykes were broken. The increasing population furnished the 
material for the multiplication of new churches. The settlement of 
the State, while largely a pioneer enterprise, was to some extent a 
religious movement. There were men and women of strong con- 
\ictions and fervent piety who were seeking release from some of the 
ecclesiastic restraints under which they had been living. This was 
particularly true of the Baptist immigrants. Baptist sentiments and 
])ractices were not then popular, l)ut their adherents held them with 
the tenacity of conviction, and preached them fearlessly and with ef- 
fect. Their resistance to taxation for the sui)port of "The Standing 
Order" subjected them to severe criticism and sometimes to more 
trying experiences, and the prospect of more perfect religious 
liberty among the mountains of Vermont was attractive to them. 
Moreover the times were ripe for an intense religious interest. The 
l)reaching of Wesley and his associates had pricked the consciences 
of many and had awakened among christians generally an evange- 
listic spirit. Many an immigrant, no doubt, brought into the soli- 
tudes of the wilderness pungent religious convictions which isola- 
tion and loneliness served to increase in force. Pioneer preachers 
and evangelists itinerating among these new settlers were warmly 
welcomed and their efforts were fruitful in encouraging christians 
and leading others to conversion. Near the close of the eightoenth 
century a gracious revival of rehgion began almost simultaneously 
throughout the State; converts were nniltipliod; new churches were 
organized; the small associations already organized welcomed the 
new churches to their fellowship and watchcare. The correspond- 



12 INTRODUCTION 

eiice between the associations in the State and in other states served 
to develop a denominational spirit and enterprise. The success of 
volunteer itinerants encouraged the associations to send out their 
preachers among the infant settlements and to the frontiers of 
civilization and to the camps of the Indians, and thus organized 
missionary work began. The letters of Adoniram Judson and the 
visit of Luther Rice awoke the churches to the cause of world wide 
missionary work. The need of comliined effort for the care of weaker 
churches and for the work of missions led to the organization of the 
Vermont Baptist State Convention. Various de])artments of 
christian enterprise led to the organization of societies specially 
entrusted to these branches. Sunday schools were organized and 
Sunday School Conventions became a necessity. 

The women heard the call to special missionary service and 
their mission circles took a place of prominence in the local and 
State work. The young people rallied for service and for culture. 
Men and women endowed with the spirit of sacrifice gave of their 
earnings and income for the support of churches and the spread of 
the gospel at home and abroad. Generous bequests came into the 
treasury of the Convention, accumulating a fund for the more ade- 
quate support of pastors and for the maintenance of the weaker 
churches. Thus the denomination developed. Loved and honored 
leaders have lived and finished their work and others have entered 
into their labors. Some churches have had brief life and others have 
survived for more than a century, and now the Baptists of Vermont, 
well organized and with somewhat ample resources, are holding 
their place in the wide brotherhood of Baptists, and are trying to 
do their part of the work of the kingdom of Christ. This is an out- 
line of the story which the following pages of the book attempt to 
tell. 



History of the Baptists 
in Vermont 



Chaptek I 

BEGINNINGS— CHURCHES IN SHAFTSBURY, POWNAL 
AND WALLINGFORD 

Hostility between the English, the PVencli and the Indians, 
delayed the permanent settlement of Vermont. ].(mg after the 
colonies of Massachusetts and Connecticut had become prosj)erous, 
\'ermont remained a wilderness. When, in 1724, by vote of the Gen- 
eral Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Fort Dummer was 
erected within the present limits of Brattleboro, a measure of 
safety was secured, and settlements slowly began in Brattleboro, 
Putney, Vernon, Addison and Pownal. 

A small force of soldiers was .sent to garrison Fort Dmnmer, 
and with them came Rev. Daniel Dwight, as chai)lain. He was a 
niini.ster of the "Standing Order," and, .so far as we know, the first 
to perform the duties of his sacred office in this State, and the only 
one for more than forty years. 

In 1760, the French finally cai)itulated, and Canada became a 
l)o.s.se.ssi()n of Great Britain. Then the tide of innnigration began to 
set strongly in this direction. The fertility of X'ermont's soil and 
the wealth of her forests had long been known to soldiers, hunters, 
and adventurers, and these were among the foremost to become set- 
tlers, as soon as it was safe to do so. 



14 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

Others came, lured by the prospect of pleasant homes, where 
they might be free from some of the ecclesiastical restraints to 
which they had been subjected in the older colonies. 

Among the many immigrants, some were devout christians, 
who, true to their best impulses, united in efforts to establish schools 
and churches, and to evangelize their communities. 

The first towTiship, granted by Governor Winthrop, of New 
Hampshire, was Bennmgton, in 1749. Settlement here, however, 
was not accomplished until about 1760. Between 1760 and 1768, 
Wentworth had granted one hundred and thirty-eight to\^^lships, 
and these were called New Hampshire Grants. The grants required 
that every grantee should plant and cultivate five acres of land,with- 
in five years, for every fifty acres granted; and other conditions were 
imposed. In each township one share of two hundred acres was set 
apart for the " Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign 
Parts," one for a glebe for the Church of England, and one for the 
first settled minister. This provision for the first settled minister 
was very helpful to the infant churches in securing pastors, and an 
incentive to promptness on the part of the several denominations. 

The first church organized within the present limits of Ver- 
mont was the First Congregational Church in Bennington, De- 
cember 3, 1762, whose first pastor was Rev. Jedediah Dewey, from 
1763 wntil his death in 1778. Other churches of this denomination 
were organized in Vernon and Westminster. 

The Bennington church was composed of a zealous band of 
reformers called "Separatists," immigrants from Hardwick and 
Amherst, Mass. In this, as in many other instances, a portion of 
these New Light Reformers began to imbibe Baptist sentiments. 
This interrupted their harmony with those of their brethren who 
held on to the Pedo-Baptist system. 

Seeking to promote their own religious comfort and advance the 
cause of truth, the Baptists removed from Bennington, some going 
north into the southwest part of Shaftsbury, near the present site 
of North Bennington, and others south into Pownal. 

The gathering of Baptists in these two places and their in- 
crease may have been due partially to another cause. Sanmel Rob- 
inson, one of the original settlers and the largest proprietor, was a 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS I.V VEKMOXT 15 

Congregatioiialist, who had an eye to the peace and unity of his 
ovm church and congregation. It is related of him that, when per- 
sons came to Bennington to ])urchase land, he used to invite them 
to spend the night in his hospitable home, and, in the course of the 
evening, he would inquire concerning their denominational prefer- 
ences. If they were Congregationalists, then they were offered 
tempting tracts of land in the immediate \'icinity of Bennington; 
if they were found to be Baptists, then the coimtry about Shafts- 
bury and PoA\nial was described as a veritable Land of Promise; if 
they were Episcopalians, then Arlington was pictured as a land 
flowing with milk and honey, and thus, the unsuspecting settlers 
were sorted, and the happy result was four settlements, in which the 
people were somewhat homogeneous in their doctrinal sentiments. 

The first Baptist church in Vermont was organized in Shafts- 
bury in the latter part of August, 1768, at a time when the inhabi- 
tants were greatly excited over the contentions between New Hamp- 
shire and New York, both claiming jurisdiction over the New 
Hampshire Grants. These grants had suddenly risen in importance, 
and a very strong current of immigration had set toward them for 
eight years previous. 

The earliest records of this pioneer church ha\e been care- 
fully preserved, and, in quaint language, tell the story of its origin, 
and incidentally of the origin of other Shaftsbury churches. They 
reveal, too, somewhat clearly, the character of the founders of 
this early church, and the course of their church life. The first 
entry in the old book of records is as follows : 

"Shaftsbury in the year, 1768. 

"Uy. A number of christians, that had before Covenanted 
To watch Over one another for Good, had much lal)our about the 
Doctrins of Christ and the form of his house. Some of us hold that 
the Doctrin of laying on of hands is to l)e Imposed on Common 
believers, others hold not. Finally a Numl)er agreed That Laying 
on of hands Should not iiinder Our building togather in (Inircli 
State, Not holding it as a Term of Connnunion. 

"2ly. we had a dispute al)()ut Telling Kxijcriances. 
Finally we agreed that Telling of Exjjeriances of a work of Grace 
upon the hearts of those who odVr themselves to tht> Ch''. is in 



16 HISTORY or THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

the general, Essential Steps toward admitting members Into the 
Chl^. 

"August ye latter End a Number of Christians being met To- 
gether after labour upon points forementioned we proceeded in the 
Following order. 

" Cyprian Downer, John Millington, Sammuel Waters, Ichabod 
West, Reuben Ellis, Thomas Matteson, Lydia Barr, Join togather 
in a most Sollem Covenant as a Church of Christ to watch over 
one another in the Fear of, and to walk in all the Laws and ordi- 
nances of the Lord as members of Christ's Ch^, depending 
upon God for Grace." 

That the church prospered in its earlier years is evident, from 
the fact that, in August, 1774, they wrote that they had thirty- 
nine members, twenty-one of whom were men. Thomas Mattison, 
one of the original members, was one of the first settlers in the town, 
and its first towii clerk, a position which he held for more than 
forty years. 

For twelve years this first church in Vermont was without a 
pastor. There were two members, with recognized ministerial 
gifts, whose record is so interwoven with that of the church, and so 
illustrative of its life, that we trace it in with special interest. 

The Willoughbys were early settlers in Shaftsbury. Backus, 
the historian, speaks of Bliss Willoughby as a leader among this 
people, though never pastor. Mr. Willoughby was received into 
the church "as a private member, under no obligation to the church 
as a minister, nor the church under any bonds to him as such, but 
for him to preach when it is his choice, to have the same privilege 
of hearing as any other brother, upon which proposal Brother 
W^illoughby said he could come into the church, and likewise the 
church manifested their freedom in opening the door to receive 
him." 

In January, 1774, he was unjustly accused before the church, 
and fully exonerated by it. The trouble grew out of a misunder- 
standing over the sale of an iron pot. Although he was exonerated 
by the church, the trial evidently left a sting. November 22, he was 
kindly invited by the church to attend a meeting, at which some 
of the brethren made special effort to remove any stumbling blocks 




Shaftsbury Baptist Church 

The first Baptist church in Vermont was organized in Shaftsbury, 1768 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 17 

in his way, and as a result, he "profest he found himself bound to 
attend meeting with the church, as a fellow sufferer and burden- 
bearer with the church." 

The next month the church, with a single dissenting vote, 
"manifested their freedom that he should improve his gift in the 
church." At this same meeting, however. Brother John Milling- 
ton and Samuel Doolittle, alleged against Brother Willoughby 
that "he did frequently on the Sabbath Day, the summer past, 
visit the house of Mr. McNiff, where he spent the greater part of 
the Sabbath." The church considered the matter and concluded 
that, although it might be lawful to do so, it did not appear ex- 
pedient, especially when it grieved any brother. Brother Willough- 
by declared that he would have left off to go to Mr. McXiff 's if he 
had known his going grieved any brother. The church concluded 
that they could not find whereof to condemn Brother Willoughby 
in the matter. " However, Brother Willoughby shortly afterward 
withdrew from the church, declining to give any reason for so 
doing. 

John Millington, another of the constituent members, had 
ministerial gifts; — a man evidently impulsive in disposition and 
wavering in his doctrinal beliefs. As early as March, 1770, the 
church recorded its conviction "that brother, John Millington, is 
called of God to be in readiness to take charge of the flock of God 
in Shaftsbury." When the question of his ordination came up the 
next year, there were objections so pronounced that the church con- 
cluded it could not "see Brother Millington to be a watchman as he 
now standeth." In May, 1778, Brother Millington having openly 
denied the doctrine of "God's election, and the parseverance of 
saints, " the church could not bid him God speed. 

About a year later he retracted, to the satisfaction of the 
church, and was restored. The next year he made public with- 
drawal from the church, "alledging that the church doth not weigh 
with God's l)alances, nor measure with God's rule, wherefore he 
chuses to be understood in distinction from the church." In No- 
vember of the same year, 1775, Millington made public confession 
of his wrong in withdrawing from the church, redodicated himself 
to service, and was restored. At length, in the presence of a council, 



18 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

and with the approval of the same, the church, " excepting those be- 
fore known as Aggrieved brethren, " voted their satisfaction with Mr. 
MiUington's quahfications to become pastor of the church, and he 
was formally ordained on Saturday, November 23, 1782. The 
record of this meeting adds this significant and peculiar paragraph : 
" Inasmuch as there is a number of brethren that cannot join in the 
present choice and ordination of our Elder, we allow them to con- 
sider themselves distinct by themselves as to their particular travel 
and government. " This action gave birth to the Third or Middle 
Baptist church in Shaftsbury . Five years after his ordination, John 
Millington was summoned before a council and admonished, on 
account of neglect of the duties of his office, and for having changed 
his doctrinal sentiments from that of particular election to that of 
belief in universal salvation of all the human race, and on account 
of personal conduct having the appearance of evil. We hear no 
more of Brother Millington. 

The church was destined to be without an ordained pastor for 
seven years, till one of her own young men was called of God to lead 
her many years in paths of peace and fruitage. 

In 1789, Cyprian DowTier, one of the original members who, as 
licentiate, had for some years been active in the Second Shafts- 
bury Church, reunited with the First Church and doubtless be- 
came a leader. A season of marked prosperity followed and the 
closing years of the century found the church enjoying the fruits 
of a powerful revival. During the years 1798 and 1799, seventy- 
three were added to the church by baptism, the ordinance be- 
ing administered by several neighboring pastors, among them 
Lemuel Covell, Caleb Blood, and Samuel Rogers. On the 20th of 
December, 1799, two candidates were baptized about ten or eleven 
o'clock at night. 

Referring again to the old records, we note the struggles of 
this first Baptist church in Vermont during its early years. More 
than once it became so weak in numbers and interest that it seemed 
to have become extinct, when the members would rally, reconse- 
crate themselves, put away differences and receive tokens of divine 
favor. It strove to maintain strict discipline, counting non-at- 
tendance upon the means of grace as a breach of covenant, subject 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 19 

to discipline. It held family prayer "to be an eternal rule of right- 
eousness, and binding upon all God's people, namely, heads of 
families. That they make their daily practice to call on God's 
name with their families, — want of unity in the family not being 
regarded as sufficient excuse why one should not pray with his 
family. " One brother, after being kindly labored with in vain, was 
disfellowshiped on the ground of neglect of this duty. Occasionally 
a member withdrew from the church for reasons that seem ec- 
centric, as when Brother N. and his wife did publicly withdraw 
from the church alleging "that the church doth shut out the wit- 
ness of God and the ark of God's covenant is not with us," or as 
when Sister M. withdrew, "assigning this as her reason, that we 
have not got the Gospel with us. She gits the evidence of what she 
charges is true in our neglecting the sallutation that Paul 
speaketh of, and the washing of the saints feet in an external way ; 
also that we do not sacrament in the evening only. " In discipli- 
nary action, the church, as a rule, appeared to be proceeding, not as a 
judge between parties at variance, but as counsellor and peace- 
maker. 

One institution feature of this church is worthy of note. The 
record reads, "To communicate in temporal as well as in spirituals 
to the wants of the needy we have hit and agreed upon the follow- 
ing mode, viz : To lay by in store for said purpose a public stock in 
the church, to be distributed to the sons of need as their necessity 
shall appear to call for the same." They encouraged great ])lainness 
of speech at church meetings and at other times, in order to know 
each others' circumstances in respect to temporal needs, and ap- 
l)ointed Thomas Mattison to have charge of receiving and distribut- 
ing their bounty, under careful direction and under obligation to 
make frequent and correct reports of all transactions. To guartl 
against any misapprehension, the quaint record of this plan closes 
with the remark, "Now it is not our meaning by drawing out our 
l)reasts to the hungry to nourish the least idleness or imprudent 
management in any matter, for we are sure it is the duty of all ac- 
cording to their ability and opportunity that they are not slothful 
in business but fervent in spirit serving the Lord." 



20 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

The following entries are of historical interest, reflecting as 
they do the political troubles growing out of the contest between 
Vermont and New York over the New Hampshire grants, and also 
from the presence of Tory sympathizers with Great Britain in the 
Revolutionary period. 

"March 23 1774 att a Cht Meeting 1st; after Prayer to God 
Considered a diffculty that Br. William Fareman and Amaziah 
Martin Brought into the Cht, which they had with some of the 
Brethren, Because they have assisted the Mobb against the York- 
ers, but when they Came to talk with the Brethren in the matter 
they find a Disposition To Pass by and forgive one another, what 
Ever hath Been Done of that Nature. 

"2ly the Chli Concludes that agreeable to the advice of the Gov- 
ernor and Council of New York, it Is Right for Every man 
to keep his Possession and not to be Turned out of it as things are 
now Circumstanced. 

"Sly the Chh Doth wholy Renounce Resisting the authority, 
or opposing any ofiice, in Bringing any man to Justice for any 
Crime that he hath Committed or from bringing any to Pay his 
Lawful Debts. 

"First Wed. Sept. 1779 

"2ly Considered the Accusation of Br William Farmer and 
Amaziah Martin against Br. Clark For Sending for them, in Milli- 
tary order, when they ware Accus 'd with Inimical Conduct Toward 
the Country. 

"The Church Conclude that we Cannot Find Whereof To Con- 
demn Brother Clark in the matter, on the Contrary Do Judge 
Brother Farmer and Martin 's Reasons Insufiicient and hold them 
Under Admonition for the same. 

"The 20 December 1798 Br. John Goodinear and Sister Hurd 
Baptized by Elder Lemuel Covel about 10 or 11 o'clock at Nite 
of the 3d 20th." 

The Second Church in Shaftsbury 

On the first Wednesday in August, 1780, Cyprian Downer and 
several others, members of the First Church, requested dismission 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 21 

that they might organize a church by themselves, in fellowship with 
the mother church, assigning as their reason the distance of their 
homes from the place of meeting. These with some others living in 
the locality called Maple Hill, united in church relation. The church 
was sometimes called the Rhode Island church because many of its 
members were from that State. This church was also one of the con- 
stituent members of the Shaftsbury Association, and at the time of 
its organization reported a membership of thirty -four. They seem 
not to have had an ordained pastor at all till 18'-27. They never had 
a meeting-house of their own, and hence could not well sustain a 
pastor in his labors. But, with the aid of Brother Cyprian DoA\Tier 
and Deacon Sly, they maintained their visibility for more than for- 
ty-five years without a settled pastor. In the year 1799, this church 
shared in the great work of grace that blessed the to^^^l, and added 
fifteen to their membership, making thirty-six in fellowship among 
them. No returns were made from this church to the Association 
for more than twenty years, from 1807 to 1827. At this last date 
they reunited with the body reporting the name of Elder Daniel A. 
Coon as pastor, and a membership of fifty -five, having evidently 
been refreshed and strengthened by a revival of religion, as the First 
Church had been that year. Elder Coon left them in 1830, and we 
next find the name of Elder Robert R. Bennett among them as pas- 
tor, froml832 to 1835 and again in 1838. In 1831, they enjoyed a re- 
\ival and reported twenty-four baptized in 1832, with a total of sixty- 
four members. Again in 1838 and 1839 a few more were baptized, 
while the central church was sharing a blessing, but their numbers 
diminished until, in 1841, they were dropped from the minutes of the 
Association and ceased to be counted a church in gospel order. 

The Third Shaftsbury Church, or The Middle Church 

The action of the First Church, in connection with the ordina- 
tion of John Millington, to which reference has been made, re- 
sulted in the "aggrieved members" uniting to form a church called 
the Third or Middle church. The unhappy relation of these to 
the members of the parent church was amicably settled a few 
years later, and the two churches brought into fellowshij), which 



<e!2 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

continued till the revival of 1798 and 1799, when this third church 
was merged into the other churches and ceased to maintain an 
indej)endent existence. 

The Fourth Baptist Church in Shaftsbury 

The Baptist church in Shat'tsl)ury called the Foui'th, afterward, 
for a season the Third, and since 1844 the only church in town, was 
constituted in Bennington on the 19th of August, 1783. The arti- 
cles of faith and church covenant which appear among the papers 
of the church, are subscribed to by twenty-four members in 1787, 
and are very similar to those which the church now recognizes as 
theirs and which are contained in their printed rules. 

Although the records of the first formation of the church are 
very incomplete, still enough is recorded to show the views which 
these fathers and mothers in Israel entertained, at that early day, 
in respect to some leading and important parts of church disciphne, 
to wit: "That persons not baptized according to Scripture ex- 
ample should not be admitted to the communion ; that no trespass 
or offence committed by any memlier should be l)rought into the 
church, without evidence to prove the fact, nor without private 
steps of labor first taken; that every member is bound by the law of 
Christ to attend the meetings of the church, except for some reason- 
able excuse; and that no brother should go to law with a brother. " 

The meetings were held in Bennington until January 16, 
1785, after which time the center of Shaftsbury appears to have 
been their place of meeting. Elder Amos Burroughs was at this 
time preaching for the church, and so continued until after the 
first meeting-house was erected in 1786. During this year a very 
extensive revival of relfgion was enjoyed. It appeared as if the Lord 
approved the pious design of His people erecting a house for His 
worship, in this then newly settled country, and poured out His 
Spirit upon them, even before their house was completed, and a 
number of valuable members were at this time added who were 
afterward pillars of the church. 

The meeting-house finished, the revival past, now came a 
scene of trial. Elder Burroughs, who had been ])reaching for some 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 23 

time in town, was a man of ardent temperament, hut somewhat 
periodical in his rehgious feehngs, and seemed better calcuhited to 
enhst the feehngs and kindle the passions than to instruct his hearer 
in the doctrines and duties of Christianity. He had ardent friends 
in the church, whose views and tastes corresponded with his owni, 
who wished that he might be settled as pastor, while others looked 
for other gifts and qualifications to unite in the man whom they 
should place in the charge of the church as pastor and teacher. 
After })atient waiting and the exercise of mutual christian love and 
forbearance. Elder Caleb Blood was settled as the first pastor of the 
church in 1788. 

In 1794, this church enjoyed another revival season in which 
/////■/?/-/ re were added to their number. But the most extensive re- 
vival ever enjoyed by this church, commonly referred to as "the 
great reformation, '' commenced in the spring of 1798 and continued 
nearly a year. During this revival one hundred and seventy-five were 
added to the church. Of this number, however, about twenty who 
had sustained a relation together as the Salisbury church in the 
south part of the town, dissoh-ed that connection and united with 
this church, so that subsequent to this period this church was us- 
ually called the Third instead of the Fourth church as heretofore. 

POWNAL 

A few Baptists were gathered into a church in Pownal 
by Rev. Benjamin Gardner, of Rhode Island, in 1772. The town 
was settled by the English ten years before, and the people had 
been livmg in a very careless way, neglecting ])ublic worshij) and 
indulging themselves in all kinds of vanity. In Marcli, 1773, they 
were afflicted with a serious distemper, which greatly alarmed tliejfti, 
and led them to attend upon the means of grace in large numl)ers. 
The church increased to sixty members, as a result of this awaken- 
ing, but owing to the defection of their pastor from the purity of a 
minister 's life, their prosperity was short. His fall threw them into 
confusion. They remained unorganized till 1781, wiien they were 
visited by a minister named Francis Bennett, from Rhode Island. 
By his efforts they were reorganized, November 25, 1782. 



24 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

But for this unhappy break in the organization of the Baptists 
in Pownal, the present Pownal church would have the distinction 
of being the oldest living church of Baptist order in Vermont. That 
honor is now held by the Baptist church in Wallingford. Caleb 
Nichols became pastor of the Pownal church in 1788. In Miss 
Heminway's Gazeteer is this tribute to him : "He came to Pownal 
bringing with him only fair paper credentials but, what far exceeds, 
a heart glowing with love to God and man. And now, instead of 
using his violin to captivate the thoughtless throng, he is engaged 
with successful zeal in sounding the gospel trumpet. His life and 
conversation are exemplary. His preaching is spiritual and animat- 
ing, pretty full of the musical 'New Light' tone, but his gift of 
prayer is his excellence, for he not only prays as if he were climbing 
Jacob 's ladder to the portals of heaven, but his expressions are so 
doctrinal that a good sermon may be heard in one of his prayers. " 
The following inscription appears on his tombstone: "Sacred to 
the memory of faithful service as a minister and watchman over 
the First Baptist Church in Pownal. Departed this life the 27th 
of February, 1804, in the 61st year of his age. He was born in 
Exeter, R. I., on the 12th of March, 1743. " Stephen Wright, in his 
History of the Shaftsbury Association, furnished the following 
facts, " Of the progress of this church during the pastorate of Elder 
Nichols, we can give but a meager account from the materials at 
hand. Suffice it to say that in the last ten years of it there were 
added to the church one hundred, raising them to an average num- 
ber during his ministry of one hundred and thirty members." This 
church first united with the Shaftsbury Association in 1793, with 
seventy-two in their fellowship. The next year they reported the 
large accession of sixty -four to their number, with a total of one 
hundred and thirty-seven. 

Wallingford 

The history of the Wallingford church, the oldest of the 
Vermont Baptist churches now existing, begins February 10, 
1780, when as the record reads, "A number of brethren and 
sisters to the number of twenty-two, living in the townships of 
Clarendon and Wallingford, met together on previous agreement at 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 25 

the house of Titus Andrews in Wallingford, on the important aflFair 
of joining together in church state and in covenant relation. The 
meeting was opened by solemn prayer to God for assistance and 
direction. Made choice of Elder Elisha Rich moderator. Then first 
gave our sense of the Scriptures in our confession of faith and prac- 
tice, which we mutually agreed should be more particularly ex- 
pressed in our Church articles. 2d, Made relation to each other for 
mutual fellowship. 3d, Solemnly covenanted together as brethren 
to watch over one another in the fear of God. 4th, The Elder made 
a public declaration of our solemn obligations to be faithful to 
God and each other as the rules of the Gospel require. " 

The names of these who thus covenanted together are, Eliakim 
Richmond, Eber Murray, Caleb Handy, George Jenney, Stephen 
Arnold, Elkanah Cook, Edward Bumpus, James Bumpus, Hezekiah 
Rhoades, Titus Andrews, Ichabod G. Clark, Reuben Ives, Joseph 
Randall, Thankful Cook, Phebe Arnold, Rachel Walker, Jerusha 
Bumpus, Love Andrews, Dorcas Clark, Damros Rhodes, Sabra 
Randall. 

It appears from the records that on the same day, February 
10, 1780, "The church chose Eber Murray to serve as a deacon for 
the present" and Joseph Randall, church clerk, which position 
he held for fifty -four consecutive years. 

Fortunately, a carefully prepared history of this church from 
the original records was written by Rev. S. H. Archibald in 1880, 
from which the following facts are taken for the most part in the 
language of the historian. 

It may be mentioned that Titus iVndrews, in whose house the 
church was formed, rests under a cloud by reason of a vote of the 
town December 17, 1778, allowing him "to become an inhabitant 
of the town on his good behaviour, and his making a public ac- 
knowledgement to the inhabitants of the town, " did well redeem 
his pledge and proved an excellent and useful citizen, despite his 
Tory predilections, which rightly ]>laced him under the ban of his 
townsmen. And it is also fitting to record that several of the con- 
stituent members of this church served in the Revolutionary 
army as valiant defenders of the country. 

It is generally supposed that this was the first religious or- 
ganization in town, but tiiere is credible evidence that certain of 



26 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

the inhabitants of WalKngford, wishing to evade mihtary duty, 
professed themselves to be Friends, and organized a society of that 
order in 1777, which existed till about 1790. There is, however, 
equally indisputable evidence that the settlers of this region were, 
for the most part, inclined to Baptist sentiments. No other church 
was organized, so far as is known, prior to 1792, when the Congrega- 
tional church was instituted, though from certain town records 
it is evident Presbyterians and Congregationalists were settled 
here. 

The confession of faith agreed upon contains little that is 
peculiar. The seventh article is as follows: "We believe that the 
laying on of hands is an ordinance of Christ, to be administered on 
all set apart for officers of the church, and on private members that 
see it to be their duty when baptized, but not to be as a bar with 
those who do not." This last clause concerning the laying on of 
hands on private members was not expunged until May 31, 1844. 
The eleventh article reads thus: "We believe it to be our duty to 
administer of the good things of this life to the wants and necessi- 
ties of our poor brethren, either ministers or people, according to 
our several abilities, and also in all public charges of the church." 
There is nothing particularly noticeable in the remaining articles. 
With the exception of the above clauses these articles remained 
unchanged till July 30, 1852, when articles kno^\'n as the "New 
Hampshire" were adopted. 

Sometime in April, 1780, the church chose Joseph Randall to 
serve as deacon for the present. The next record shows the com- 
mencement of what was a frequent procedure for many years. 
"At a church meeting held in Clarendon the first Saturday in 
July, 1780, a committee of four was appointed to labor with a cer- 
tain man and his wife for walking disorderly. This labor was 
prosecuted until we find that the man had made himself a public 
example by drinking and other unlawful conduct, for which the 
church on March 7th, 1781, voted to send him "a letter that they 
withdraw fellowship from him. " 

In the history of this church upward of one hundred are re- 
])orted as excluded, quite a number of whom afterward confessed 
their fault and were restored. By far the greater part of these were 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 27 

cut off previous to IS'iO, and the most of these by reason of drunken- 
ness and other sins induced thereby. The temptations to drink in 
those days were manifold; everyone was expected to indulge, and 
many who had formed the appetite were unable to resist, and fell 
into drunkenness and kindred vices. In the cases of excluded per- 
sons, a letter was sent notifying the individual of the act of the 
church. Copies of many of these letters are found in the records. 
There is a loving tenderness and warm Christ-like spirit displayed 
in these letters. 

At first there was no regular jjastor, but Elder Rich preached 
more or less of the time, and it is sho^^^l by the records was desirous 
of becoming their pastor. This led to much conference and prayer 
and brethren from abroad were counciled ^\'ith, but no agreement 
could be reached whereby Elder Rich could become pastor. The 
difficulty appears to have been that Elder Rich proposed a new 
constitution, which the church was not prepared to adopt. Ac- 
cordingly he withdrew, and a number of brethren followed him 
with the intention of forming a new body. Concerning Elder Ricli, 
it is proper to remark that in other fields he proved an efficient and 
useful minister of Christ. 

It was a custom of the church, when in any special straits, 
to appoint a day of prayer; and when any special matter was under 
consideration which threatened division, there would be appointed 
also a meeting for conference on the following day; and in some 
manner the brethren would maintain unity. 

August, 1784, the church held a meeting at Moses Hinman's 
and "Proceeded to inquire for gifts in the church. First, for the 
gift of ^reaching, and found it in Brother Samuel Lathrop, and gen- 
erally satisfied that he had the gift of lead."' A day in September 
was appointed for further inquiry for other gifts, and when they 
met they "supposed the gift of exhortation and prayer to be given 
to Joseph Randall, and Mebediah Angell, which they ought to 
wait upon; likewise supposed Eliakim Richmond to have the gijt 
of prayer; all which were public gifts and to be waited upon and 
improved in the church." It is interesting to conjecture what 
changes might be wrought if the same plan were pursued in all our 
churches now; whether some in official position might not be re- 



28 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

manded to the more private walk, and some be called to officiate 
who now hide their light. The plan seems conducive to humility 
and to resemble the Apostolic method of choosing men to be leaders. 

The action of the church in regard to singing is interesting and 
worthy of record. There was an impression among the churches 
at an early day that only professing christians should take charge 
of the singing, and in this church one and another was assigned to 
this duty. Thus, in November, 1800, a committee was appointed 
to select the tunes and have the entire matter under their charge. 
January 17, 1801, "After conversing on the subject of singing, 
agreed to sing once in a day by reading. " As late as December, 1813, 
the church "mutually agreed that no person, not a member of any 
church, should be called on to lead in singing or preach in the 
church. " One of the items March 2, 1816, is, "We will regulate the 
singing, the lead of the singing we will keep under the government 
of the church, if money and pains will effect it; if not the young peo- 
ple shall have the lead at all times when we fail. " April 10, of the 
same year, however, it was voted that " if there are persons present 
qualified to lead the singing, though they are not church members, 
yet they are to be improved in that way." So far as the records 
show, the matter was dropped here forever. 

The proceedings of the church in the choice of their first pastor 
are exceedingly suggestive. After appointing a special day for con- 
sideration of the matter, on February 2, 1787, "the church agreed, 
from the satisfaction they have of Henry Green's gift in doctrine, 
to request him to come and preach to them all the while if he sees 
it to be his duty, if not as much as he can. " In March, we find a 
record of the names of those who joined in the request to "Brother 
Henry Green to come and take the watchcare of them as an under- 
shepherd, to lead them through this wilderness — and to set him 
apart for the work." Others are recorded as having "a freedom 
that the said Henry Green should come and take the pastoral care 
of the church in this place. The distinction seems to be that while 
a part requested him to do so, others did not join in the request, but 
were willing he should come. At another meeting some not present 
before signified their assent to the action of the church, and their 
names are entered. March 31, at a church meeting. Brother Green 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 29 

gave the church to understand that it was the "freedom of his mind 
to Hve with them the present season and preach to them, and get 
further acquaintance, and if light opens, and the doors open agree- 
ably to God's word, to comply with the request. " May 31, the ques- 
tion was asked, "Whether their satisfaction of Brother Green's 
gifts was enlarged. " All answered in the affirmative. "The church 
then proceeded to appoint brethren to make inquiry and see if 
they can find a farm to purchase for Brother Green, and inquire 
how much help can be had from the brethren and friends. " With 
due seriousness and care the call was finally extended, and accepted, 
a council assembled and Brother Green ordained. The ordination 
took place on the 4th of October, 1787. The ordination services 
were by a presbytery chosen by the church, instead of l)y the Coun- 
cil. Joseph Randall was ordained deacon by the same presbyterj' 
with Brother Green added for the church. 

Henry Green was now some twenty-seven or twenty-eight 
years of age, and he gave twenty years of faithful labor to the 
church, nearly four times as long as any pastor since served up to 
1880, and by far the most prosperous years, apparently. 

The town records show that the to\Nai, as a civil body, had a 
voice in the settlement of Mr. Green. Mr. Green was the first 
settled minister in to\Mi, but for some reason not clear some dispute 
arose in the matter of right of land, and October 3, 1787, as ap- 
pears on the town records, a committee "was appointed to agree 
on a settlement of the affair. " This committee reported as appears 
on the same day, "That the right of land for the first settled min- 
ister in town be equally divided, in quantity and quality, iietween 
the Presbyterian and Baptist churches. " 

In the records of a town meeting held Deceml)er '■24, 1793. 
this entry is found: "A motion was made to try the minds of the 
meeting to know whether they are agreed in Elder Henry Green as 
a minister for the town of Wallingford, unanimously voted in the 
affirmative. Then voted that Elder Green for the time being be 
apointed for the examination and aj)j)robation of regular min- 
isters of the Baptist, (_^ongregational and Presbyterian orders to 
preach with us occasionally. " What the town, as such, had to do 
with this matter is not so clear at this dav. 



30 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

A somewhat unusual matter is to be found in the church 
record of April 30, 1789. It seems there were two classes under 
consideration ; some who were comparative strangers would wish to 
unite with the church. Concerning these it was determined the 
church was in duty bound "to extend their watch and care over 
them for such a term of time as shall be necessary to form a suitable 
acquaintance." But the other class, it appears, did not want to be 
in church membership, hence this vote: "If any person wishes 
their watch and care, for the benefit of good christian society, it is 
our duty as individuals to watch over them, but not as a church 
act. " Some cases of watch and care were immediately acted upon 
in accordance with this rule. 

Wednesday, June 20, 1792, Colborn Preston, formerly a mem- 
ber of Elder Rich's church, was ordained by a council as deacon. 
Preceding the ordination, Mr. Preston gave a relation of his travail 
and call to the office of deacon, with his ideas of the duty in the same. 

A question concerning infants came up at a church meeting, 
December '27th, 1792. " Brother Stephen Arnold manifested a wish 
to know the sentiment of the church in respect to dedication of 
infants in public." The church manifested their minds as follows: 
"That every brother or sister hath a right in any public meeting 
to ask the privilege of having mention made in public prayer, 
either in sickness or recovery; and if any brother or sister have a 
child born and wish mention to be made publicly of their thanks- 
giving, and wish to dedicate themselves and child to God, and wish 
for wisdom to train it up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, 
either having the child at home or at meeting; if the child be at 
meeting, that mention be made to the public, without presenting 
the child to the minister. " So careful and judicious was this early 
church in dealing with a question which has caused so much dis- 
cussion and, as we believe, unscriptural practice. 

For many years the church held its preaching services and 
conference meetings in private houses, sometimes in one place, 
sometimes in another. Some meetings were held in Mount Holly 
before a church was organized there. The members were widely 
scattered and much inconvenience was experienced. Propositions 
to build a meeting-house were, from time to time, considered, but 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 31 

it was difficult to agree upon a place. The Clarendon church wanted 
the services of the pastor of the Wallingford church part of the 
time and objected to some of the locations proposed. To settle 
the question a council was called. Their decision was that the 
Clarendon people ought to consent for Elder Green to preach con- 
stantly in the town of Wallingford at such place as may best ac- 
commodate the church in Wallingford, and the inhabitants in said 
towni. The council also set a stake where, in their judgment, the 
meeting-house ought to be built; and their advice was accepted, a 
tax raised and a meeting-house erected and finished in 1800. It 
was used by Baptists and Congregationalists for the most part, 
but occasionally occupied by others. 

May 30, 1798, seventeen members were dismissed and or- 
ganized into an independent church in Clarendon, William Har- 
rington being ordained their pastor the same day, by a council 
called by this church. 

Sanford Moon was ordained deacon, May 25, 1803. This is the 
last occasion on which a deacon has been ordained by this church. 

Without any general revival the membership of the church 
increased from fifty-eight, in 1789, to eighty-nine, in 1795. In the 
revival of 1798-1800, forty-one were received by baptism, besides 
those received by letter, and in 1802, the membership was one hun- 
dred and thirty-eight. 

In 1795, and again in 1800, the Association met with this 
church, and in January, 1796, there was a meeting of delegates 
from the churches of the Vermont Association, held here to "revise 
and make amendments to the constitution of the ^^ermont Associa- 
tion. " The result of their labors was })rinted in a pami)hlet. After 
being discussed at three successive annual meetings of the Associa- 
tion it was, after some amendment, adopted in 1798. 

In 1804, the most extensive revival ever enjoyed by the church 
occurred. Some of the time baptisms occurred every week, and in 
a period of six months one hundred and fourteen were added to 
the church. In 1805, the membership was reported at two hundred 
and twenty -five, the largest it ever attained. 

A considerable number of the members of this churcii were 
living at Mount Holly, and the church had voted to have Elder 
Green and others go there at sundry times and hold meetings and 



32 HISTORY or THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

administer the ordinances. In 1801, a council was called, which did 
not deem it advisable to have a separate church there. Finally a 
council met September 6, 1804, and twenty-three members from 
this church were recognized as an independent body. Around this 
nucleus, Rev. Daniel Packer subsequently gathered a church exceed- 
ing four hundred in its membership. 

In financial matters, the church from the first held theoretically 
to an adjustment of the pecuniary burdens of the church upon all 
the members. In 1789, the church voted "That when any wants or 
necessities of the church appear, the deacons shall call for a con- 
tribution, keep an account of what each contributes, and lay it be- 
fore the church. And if any ha\'e not come up to their duty they 
are to be admonished; and if any have overdone they are 
to be abated, according to the judgment of the church for that 
purpose, that there may be an equality in the church." Two prin- 
ciples are here asserted; one that every member is to give something 
according as the Lord hath prospered him, this being in strict ac- 
cordance with the eleventh of the articles of faith before noted; 
there is to be a division of burdens. The church was to be the final 
judge. Another scriptural principle recognized in the vote of 1789, 
is that the deacons are to be the business managers of the church. 
One scripture principle seems not to have been recognized with 
equal clearness, and that is liberality in deaUng with the pastor. 
At first the compensation was in the form of some assistance in his 
farm work. April 18, 1799, it was agreed to give Elder Green forty 
dollars this year in cattle or grain. The next year it was increased 
to eighty-five dollars. In 1801, the church agreed to raise one penny 
on the pound on their church list for the assistance of Elder Green 
the present season. This would be about four dollars and twenty 
cents on a thousand dollars. The same amount was assessed the 
two following years. In October, 1805, there was an arrearage. It 
was voted that this del)t should be paid, forty dollars for the 
then current year, and one himdred dollars per year in the future, 
and that the Elder should be assisted one day in the winter to get 
his wood; but this was not done till Mr. Green had asked for his 
disn^ission from the pastorate on account of his small salary. In 
1806, he was allowed to go to West Clarendon half the time. The 
records do not state, but there can be no doubt that his dissolving 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 33 

of the pastoral relation in January, 1807, was occasioned by lack 
of financial support. The church thus lost a faithful pastor. The 
years immediately following were marred by dissensions and bicker- 
ings which might have been avoided. 



Chapter II 
SHAFTSBURY ASSOCIATION 

The association of churches had its origin in an impulse as 
natural and instinctive as that which led the early disciples to meet 
often of one accord in one place. The natural longing for fellow- 
ship in worship and in work accounts for the organization of both 
churches and associations of churches. L<33S^H()'-^ 

For twelve years the Baptist church in Shaftsbury lived in 
isolation. It was a lone star in Vermont, save for the brief period 
when the church in Pownal was visible. To the north were no 
other Baptist churches. To the south, in Ma^achusetts, was the 
Baptist church in Cheshire, organized about 1770. 

In the year 1780, a Second Baptist church was organized in 
Shaftsbury, largely from members of the First church. About the 
same time two churches were organized across the New York line; 
one in Stillwater and one in White Creek, from fragments of earlier 
organizations, which had been scattered by the devastations of the 
war of the Revolution. 

Between the two older churches and the three younger ones, 
there was a natural bond "of fellowship, and they formed an as- 
sociation in 1780, and on the l^th day of June, 1781, held their 
first anniversary in Shaftsl)ury, and assumed the name of The 
Shaftsbury Association, an honorable name from that time till now. 

This little organization became the rallying point for churches 
over a wide area, until it included in its membership churches in 
what are now seventeen counties in three states, to which should 
be added five churches in Upper Canada, beyond the waters of the 
Niagara River. 

At the first anniversary of this l)ody, held with the First 
Shaftsbury church, June 11, 1781, Lemuel Powers was ordained, 
probably at the request of the Stillwater church, that he might be- 



36 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

come their pastor; as his name stands connected with this church 
just l)efore and just after this event. Mr. Powers was pastor of this 
church and a member of the Shaftsbury Association till the time 
of his death, about twenty years. Stilhvater was his only pastorate 
and a very successful one, as the church increased in numbers till, 
in 1793, it reached four hundred and thirteen. In 1789, thirty -three 
were baptized; in 1791, one hundred and eighty-two ; in 1793, ninety- 
one; and in 1790, another church was added to his which had been 
^•athered in the same town by Beriah Kelly. For several years the 
Stillwater Church was the largest church in the Association. Mr. 
Powers was chosen moderator of the Association in 1797, a position 
of honor in that large body of forty-eight churches and three thou- 
sand five hundred members. This may have been the last time he 
attended the Association, as he is known to have been absent in 1799 
and is reported as having died in 1800. President Millard Fillmore 
married a daughter of Elder Powers. 

The following conspicuous notice appears in the minutes of 
1797 : "TAKE NOTICE ! A certain man has been traveling around 
the country in the profession of the ministry, sometimes calling 
himself Dudley Young, and at other times Peter Powers, alias 
Walter Powers. He was whipped last fall at Northampton, for 
stealing a horse, and declared he was Elder Lemuel Powers of 
Stillwater. Who the fugitive is we know not, but take this method 
of clearing the character of Lemuel Powers of the charges that were 
proved upon the vagrant. Elder Powers is a large fat man with 
large eyes; but the counterfeit is a slim man with small eyes. " 

So large a portion of the Shaftsbury Association was for years 
outside of ^"ermont, and so small a portion within it that a history- 
of the Baptists of Vermont would hardly include a full history of 
the Shaftsbury Association ; but from the first the Vermont churches 
were influential in this body and bore their full share of its important 
and interesting work. Five years after its organization, the Associa- 
tion numbered fifteen churches, in which number is included two 
other Vermont churches, the Wallingford, and the Halifax. None 
of these churches had pastors at that time. 

The founders of the Association had clear and definite ideas as 
to the powers and limitations of an association, and these they 
placed on record by publishing in their minutes, in 1791, a paper 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 37 

prepared by Elder Caleb Blood as a circular letter. The first part 
of the letter concerns the nature, business, power and government 
of a christian church; the second part concerns the association, and 
because it contains ideas on this subject, held and practiced by as- 
sociations generally at that time, may well be included as an im- 
portant jjart of our history. 

"By an association we mean no more than a number of 
churches in sister relation, mutually agreeing to meet by their dele- 
gates at stated seasons, for free conference on those matters that 
concern the general good of the churches; that we might be mutual 
helpers to each other, by giving and receiving intelligence of each 
other's welfare; that we may sympathize with and pray for each 
other, and so be partners in the joys and sorrows that await us in 
this changing world. 

"In which conference any church has a right to jn-opose any 
question that relates to doctrine or discipline, provided that such 
questions are always so circumstanced that the solution of them 
will not interfere with the government of particular churches. On 
authentic information of the purity of faith and practice of any 
sister church, which desires to be received as a member of the con- 
ference, it is the privilege and liberty of this association to give them 
fellowship, and to receive them as a member of this conference. 
But in case any church or churches shall apostatize from the faith, 
and become corrupt, on information from sister churches, who have 
taken gospel steps to reclaim them, and ha^-e not succeeded, but 
have necessarily been called 'to withdraw from them, ' it is the duty 
of this association to sympathize with those grieved churches in 
their sorrows, and to inform the churches in general, that we con- 
sider those churches wno liaA'e fallen no longer in our fellowship. 
It is (also) the duty of this association to give information of 
(iposiafes and corrupt men in the ministry, that the churches may 
not be imposed upon by them. In case any church that is a mem- 
ber of this conference shall neglect to attend with us in conference, 
it is but an act of brotherly kindness in us to inquire into the rea- 
son for such neglect; and if any chvrch chooses not to meet any more 
with us, in this manner, it is reasonable they should let us know it, 
in a christian way. If any church think it best not to continue a 



38 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

member of this meeting, it is unreasonable to publish their names 
annexed to the transactions of the meeting, of which they did not 
consider themselves members. 

"In such cases we may drop them from our minutes, and pub- 
lish the reasons for so doing. But any church twt becoming or con- 
tinuing a member of this conference, is not considered a bar of our 
fellowship with them. 

"Finally, brethren, we consider ourselves to have no porter as 
an association to determine any cases of discipline in the churches, 
but we are only to give our advice and opinion in those points, and 
intelligence, in such matters as come within the limits of a free 
christian conference. 

"From what has been said, we learn that it is the church only, 
and not an association of churches or of ministers that is authorized 
to execute church discipline. 

"We are sensible that some may object to this and say that 
the church is imperfect and liable to make wrong judgments. 
True, but if we admit of decisive councils to whose judgment the 
church must submit, if their judgment is in opposition of the 
church, and the church is not convinced that they were wrong, — 
they cannot restore the member rejected, without counteracting 
their o^^^l judgment; and if they do it upon the judgment of others, 
still they can have no more fellowship with such a person than be- 
fore. It appears hence, that decisive councils immediately militate 
against real fellowship, and gospel union in the churches. But 
councils for advice only in difficult cases are useful. In this way 
churches and brethren nuiy gain light, and all their difficulties be 
happily settled. " 

The Association scrupulously kept itself within the bounds thus 
■carefully defined. It entered into correspondence with other as- 
sociations, received delegates from them, and sent messengers to 
them, and thus kept in touch with the ra})idly increasing number of 
Baptist organizations. Its circular letters were carefully prepared 
and were upon vital subjects. 

The period from 17J)'-2 to 1800 was one of rapid de\'elopment. 
From twenty -six churches, nineteen ministers, and seventeen hun- 
dred and fifty -four members, it increased to forty -six churches, having 
thirty-three ministers, and more than forty-one hundred members, 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 39 

after dismissing several churches to other bodies. Elder Calel) 
Blood and Elder Caleb Nichols, representing respectively the fourth 
Shaftsbury and the Pouaial churches, were among the most })romi- 
nent and influential ministers in the Association. The Pownal 
church united with the Asociation in 1793, and the year following 
entertained the Association under happiest circumstances; the 
church having received during the year previous sixty -four new mem- 
bers, bringing its membership up to one hundred and thirty-seven. 

The Otsego Association was organized in 1796, and came into 
most sympathetic relation to the Shaftsbury, as was natural, for 
several of the infant churches had been planted and watered bj- 
Elders Blood, Nichols, Cornell and Craw. 

The year 1789 witnessed a gracious revival in many of the 
churches, none being more favored than the Fourth Shaftsbury, a 
full account of which will be given in another chapter. One hun- 
dred and seventy-one were added to that church during that event- 
ful year. 

The correspondence of the Association widely increased till, 
in 1799, there were twenty-two associations sending minutes or 
messengers, thirteen of these associations being south of Phila- 
delphia. 

To this Association, in 1797, came messengers from the Stoning- 
ton, Warren, Leyden, Vermont, and Philadelphia associations and 
took seats with them, and minutes were received from a number of 
Virginia and North Carolina associations. A worthy companj' of 
men were present. The names of these pastors and delegates are 
suggestive of old-time family religion. Parents name their children 
after those whom they honor, and i)ray that they may l)e worthy 
of tlie name; and no names were so common in early days as those of 
Bible characters. Here are ninety-eight names and all i)ut fifteen 
are liiblical. To read them is like a wide review of Scripture history. 
Thomas, Elisha, John, Isaac, Peter, Stephen, Daniel, Abijah, Mat- 
thew, Nathan, Samuel, Joseph, Eli, Jeduthan, Joshua, Ezra. Abel, 
Israel, Ezekiel, Issacher, Jonathan, Aaron, (lamaliel, Hezekiah, 
Lemuel, Benjamin, Caleb, Judah, Reuben, Jesse, Jeremiah, James, 
Sylvanus, Thaddeus, Ebenezer, Elijah, Lazarus, Solomon. 

This ses.sion, in 1880, was held in Elder Blood's meeting-hou.se 
in Sliaftsburv. and he was chosen moderator. l?v this time the As.so- 



40 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

ciation consisted of forty-six churches with a total membership of 
forty-one hundred and twenty-seven. A painful feature of this ses- 
sion was the disfellowshiping of two churches, on account of the con- 
duct of their pastors, and the failure of the churches to take satisfac- 
tory action in the premises. 

An appeal for help came at this time from the Partridgeville 
church, stating "that they were in distress, by being taxed, and 
having their property sold at public auction, to assist in building a 
Congregational meeting-house; that there was some hope of ob- 
taining redress if they could raise money enough to carry on a suit 
at law." They therefore requested the advice and assistance of the 
Association in their embarrassed situation. After some delibera- 
tion, it was proposed to request a contribution immediately, for 
their assistance; $45.50 were collected. The Association also 
advised them to strive to be at peace with all men, but at the 
same time to use all la\N^ul endeavors to preserve inviolate the 
rights of conscience and property; "And as w^e think the conduct 
complained of is in violation of both we conclude that they have a 
right to stand in their own defence; and do promise to afford them 
further assistance if needed to relieve them from their present dis- 
tress." In order to carry out the above mentioned purpose the 
Association appointed Elders Werden, Leland and Smith a com- 
mittee to deliver the money collected and to report to the churches 
what further assistance they might need. 

1801 marks the beginning of a new era in associational work. 
At this session, the Shaftsbury Association became emphatically 
a missionary body in a wide sense. Elder Caleb Blood preached the 
introductory sermon on the text Matt. 23: 8. "Be not ye called 
Rabbi, for one is your master even Christ, and all ye are brethren." 
The customary routine of business was followed. The proposition 
from the Philadelphia Association respecting a General Confer- 
ence was considered and after deliberation it w^as concluded that, 
"at present, we have not sufficient light on the subject, to see the 
utility of such a combination; therefore, voted not to engage there- 
in till we have further light thereon." 

Then Elder Lemuel Covell, of Pittstown, rose and made a 
proposition for "raising a fund by contribution, for the purpose of 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 41 

sending missionaries to preach the Gospel in destitute parts of our 
frontier settlements, and as far as we may have opportunity, among 
the Natives of the ^Yilderness." The mover of this proposition was 
the pastor of the Pittstown church. He was a man of slender con- 
stitution, subject to frequent attacks of disease, aggravated, no 
doubt, by his intense labors of various kinds. He was a man of more 
than average ability, and his natural talents had been so improved 
that he was a very interesting and acceptable preacher. He la- 
bored under many seeming disadvantages, from the depressed 
state of his outward circumstances by which his sphere of useful- 
ness was considerably circumscribed. It was not his lot to be 
favored with much of this world's goods. He was one of the poor, 
whom God chose to be rich in faith and inlieritors of the kingdom. 
Preaching was his element. The doctrine of salvation by the cross 
was his grand theme on which he dwelt with peculiar pleasure. His 
voice was clear and majestic and his iddress manly and engaging. 
Few could hear without feeling in some degree the force of truth. 
This man's heart was yearning for those who, scattered abroad, had 
not the privileges of the Gospel, and he was as read\^ to go himself 
on such errands as to send others, and did go and shortly fell in 
the midst of missionary efforts. 

His proposal was received with marked fa\'or and it was \oted 
to recommend to the churches to take it into mature consideration; 
"and those who are disposed to adopt so benevolent a plan to sig- 
nify it in their letters at our next session; and likewise to make 
liberal contribution and send it forward at the same time to begin 
said fund, to be entrusted in the hands of such Committee or Trust- 
ees as the Association shall appoint to receive the same, and ap- 
propriate it to the above use as they shall from time to time think 
proper. And to contribute annually for the support of the same till 
the churches contributing shall judge they have sufficient cause to 
discontinue such contribution." 

Before the close of the session, Brethren Elder Joshua Craw, 
and Elder Samuel Rogers exi)ressed their intention to travel abroad 
in the course of the year for the purjxjsc of visiting and preaching in 
the distant parts of the wilderness, and the Association gave them 
I'ecommendations and encouragement and j)romise of prayers. 



42 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

xA.t the next session, 1802, a plan proposed by Mr. Cornell was 
adopted. The plan was the appointment of a "Committee charged 
with Missionary Contributions," consisting of six ministers and 
six laymen, who should have charge of the money contributed by 
the churches for the maintenance of missionary effort, who should 
examine missionaries and recommend those whom they approved, 
and determine the time and place of their labors, which should be 
in the new settlements of the United States and Canada where the 
inhabitants were destitute of the preached word and unable to ob- 
tain it. They were to pay the missionaries sufficient for their ex- 
penses and no more. The missionaries were to keep careful account 
of their expenses and restore to the treasury any surplus above 
their expenses, and to make a full report of their work. In accord- 
ance with this plan the first Committee appointed consisted of 
Elders Abijah Peck, Caleb Blood, Isaac Webb, Justus Hall, Joseph 
Craw, and Lemuel Covell; laymen, Deacon WilHam Stillwell, 
John Rouse, Joshua Mattison, Isaac Brewster, Stephen Carpenter, 
and James Green. 

Under this plan the Association began at once its beneficent 
missionary work, which was to continue for many years. Elder 
Caleb Blood, one of the first Committee, was one of the first to 
volunteer for the difficult and sacred service. The account of his 
first missionary journey has been preserved, and as illustrative of 
the pioneer work of these missionaries it is full of interest. 

Until 1806, the Association carried on its missionary work on 
the association committee plan, without any separate organiza- 
tion. At this time, however, there developed a difference of senti- 
ment among the brethren as to the best method to be followed in 
missionary work. Some were convinced that a society was essen- 
tial to the highest success. A plan for a missionary society was 
drawn up, and an organization effected assuming the name of The 
New York Baptist Missionary Society, and later finding that an- 
other society had taken the same name, this society added to its 
name "Northern" — "The New York Northern Baptist Missionary 
Society." 

The Association, however, continued to work as before through 
its committee, and the contributions of persons interested were 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 43 

given, some to the society, and some to the committee, and each 
made reports of their receipts. The committee and the trustees 
of the society met at the same time and place and planned and 
worked together. 

Concerning this duplex missionary work, Rev. A. L. Vail in 
"The Morning Hour of American Baptist Missions," writes, "The 
special interest to us in this story is that it exhibits the contest be- 
tween the association and society methods in missions as it is ex- 
liibited nowhere else in our period. 

"Remember that, in 1797, on this same territory, an interdenom- 
inational missionary society had been established on a plan of dis- 
tricts which was adopted, in 1806, by the Baptist society, and ap- 
peared nowhere else among Baptists. This indicates intimacy be- 
tween the Baptist and the Pedobaptist missionary forces on this 
field; and that when the Shaftsbury Association launched its plan 
of missions, it did so against the influence not only of Boston, but 
of its immediate missionary neighbors in other denominations, with 
whom some of its people had probably been associated in the older 
society, just as the same two classes of people were associated in the 
original society in the city. And the Baptist conflict on the upper 
Hudson over two plans, extending through a decade, indicates 
somewhat clear convictions and pungent discussions not now in 
view. This, however, does not mean any disturbance of fellowship, 
the indications being that it was a cordial contest between prefer- 
ences." 

This missionary work was carried on by a noble company of 
men, the full record of which can never be given. By far the larger 
part of the work was done in western and northern New York and 
in Canada. Comparatively little in Vermont, and that in the ex- 
treme northern portion. 

Summing up the chapter of this association, ending with 1811, 
Stephen Wright, in his History of the Shaftsbury Association says: 
"The services of a Blood, Covell, Warren, Finch, Gorton, Asahel 
Morse, C. Chamberlain, N. Kendrick, Haskall, Witherell, and An- 
drews,— who labored under the patronage of this body,- cannot be 
valued till the revelations of the final day shall tell what good they 
did in comforting God's people, awakening sinners, encouraging 



44 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

feeble churches, and setting in order the things that were wanting 
in a hundred places whither their footsteps were directed by the 
great Head of the church in the wildernesses of Northern and 
Western New York and of Canada West." 

Although some fifteen churches had been dismissed by the 
formation of the Saratoga Association and others had been dropped, 
there had been a great gain in the Association during the period 
from 1786-1800, and at the close it numbered but eleven less 
churches and four hundred less members, while some three thou- 
sand had been added to all the churches in the same time. Only a 
few of the churches were in Vermont ; these were the First, Second 
and Fourth Shaftsbury and Pownal. 

By transfer of churches to other associations more conven- 
iently near, the Shaftsbury Association became reduced in number 
till, in 1854, it consisted of but five churches; first Bennington, 
one hundred and twenty -four members ; second Bennington, one hun- 
dred and fourteen members ; first Hoosick, one hundred ; Manches- 
ter, ninety-one; Shaftsbury, one hundred and sixty -five. 

In 1855, the Shaftsbury Association united with the Vermont 
Association under the name of The Shaftsbury and Vermont As- 
sociation. 

In 1878, the name was changed by the omission of "Vermont" 
to the Shaftsbury Association with the note, "Shaftsbury formed 
in 1780, Vermont formed 1785. United in 1855." 

In 1910, under the name of The Shiftsbury Association, were 
nineteen churches, sixteen pastors, two thousand four hundred and 
ninety-four total membership; one thousand seven hundred and 
twenty-six resident members. The churches were as follows, with 
the birth year of each of the organizations : 

Bennington, 1827; B.'andon, 1785; E. Hubbardton, 1787; E. 
Poultney, 1802; Fair Haven, 1867; Hydeville, 1850; Ira, 1783; 
Manchester Center, 1781; Middletown Springs, 1784; N. Benning- 
ton, 1844; Pittsfield, 1841; Poultney, 1802; Pownal, 1782; Rutland, 
1823; Shaftsbury, 1783; WalUngford, 1780; West Haven, 1803; 
West Pawlet, 1852; West Rutland, 1884. Eleven of these were 
among our pioneer churches. 

The history of primitive associations would be far from com- 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 45 

plete without some special allusion to the queries that were brought 
to them for answers. These queries and replies reveal the problems 
and perj)lexities of the early churches. 

One of the first ones proposed in the Shaftsbury Association 
was the theological question on which many were pondering, 
"Whether all men or any part of them are actually discharged from 
the condemnation of the law, by the Atonement of Christ, without 
the special application of that Atonement by the Holy Spirit.^" 

This wa- answered in the negative. 

2nd. Whether the benefits of the great Atonement, as they 
respect the eternal salvation of man, are applied to any except the 
elect. Answered in the negative. 

In 1798, queries on Masonry called forth the following reply : 

"Dear Brethren, As a number of our churches are greatly dis- 
tressed by their members joining with the Free Masons, for the 
peace of the church, we pray such to desist. If there is no moral evil 
in joining with the Masons, yet it is sinning against the weak breth- 
ren, and he that sins against his weak brother sins against Christ. 
But as this Association claims no jurisdiction over the members of 
churches each church must judge for itself according to facts and 
circumstances." 

In 1803, the query was raised, "Is honor done to the public cause 
of religion when an association has published advice in their min- 
utes to the churches not to allow their members to associate with 
Free INIason Lodges, and have declared against it; yet give fellow- 
ship to brethren of other associations who do the same and call on 
them to take seats in the Association." 

This was referred to Elders Blood, Gray, Warren and Brother 
Hezekiah Mason, to report next meeting. The reply of this com- 
mittee was as follows : "We think it proper to insert in our minutes 
that there are numbers of our brethren and some of our churches, 
who cannot walk in fellowship with those brethren who join with, 
and frequent the Masonic Society, when they know it is a grief to 
their brethren; and that some have joined that society, to the grief 
of others, which has been and still is, the cause of much difficulty 
in many of our churches and has repeatedly occasioned trouble in 
this Association. This has given rise to the remarks published in the 
14th section of our minutes for 1708 on that subject." 



46 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

"In order to prevent further difficulty of that nature, we wish 
now to be fairly and fully understood; — -That as to the propriety 
or impropriety of Free Masomy we do not as an association under- 
take to determine. Yet, we freely say, that inasmuch as our breth- 
ren do not pretend they are bound in conscience, by any rule in the 
word of God, to unite with the fraternity; for them to form a con- 
nection with them or frequent their Lodges when they know it is 
a grief to their Christian Brethren, and makes disturbance in the 
churches; it (in our opinion) gives sufficient reason for others to 
conclude that they are not such as follow after the things that make 
for peace and things whereby one may edify another (Rom. 14 : 19) 
but rather, are such as cause divisions and contentions, contrary to 
the doctrine we have learned, (Rom. 14: 17,) and of course if they 
continue obstinately in such practices, ought to be rejected from 
fellowship; and consequently it is not reasonable for us to invite 
them to a seat in our Association. We, therefore, answer the querj^ 
from the church at Providence in the negative. Yet, we do not wish, 
at present, to have this resolution so construed, as to interrupt our 
correspondence with sister associations, but to have it continued. 

"If there be any Brethren, in any of our churches or sister as- 
sociations, who live in the practice of frequenting Masonic Lodges, 
we flatter ourselves that such churches and associations, after hear- 
ing our minds on the subject, will not feel disposed to grieve Breth- 
ren among us, by sending such of their members, as Delegates to 
this association." 

The troubles of the Partridgeville church was the occasion of 
this query: "Is it not best, all things considered, to endeavor to 
promote a public fund for the benefit of suffering churches in the 
Association?" The reply of the Association shows that the period 
of oppression was near its end. "This Association esteem it duty 
to afl^ord relief to churches or Brethren who are suffering by op- 
pression (which is the suffering contemplated in the query) as far 
as we have opportimity, but as there are ^'ery few of our churches 
in a situation to suffer in this way, we do not think it necessary to 
raise a fund for that purpose, but would recommend it to churches 
who are suffering to make known their wants to the Association, 
and they will undoubtedly obtain relief." From the same church 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 47 

came the query, "Is it agreeable to the gospel for a church of Christ 
to petition the civil powers, to incorporate them into a religious so- 
ciety?" Answer: "We view it derogatory to Zion's King, and 
undervaluing his ample code of laws, for a christian church to ap- 
ply to the civil authority to be incorporated as bodies politic, for the 
purpose of regulating their ecclesiastical concerns, or forcing their 
members to support their preachers, or even for the sake of getting 
exemption from religious oppression; believing religion, in all its 
branches, to be no object of civil government, nor in anywise under 
its control. It may, nevertheless, be proper in some states for 
churches to avail themselves of the act of incorporation for the 
sole purpose of holding possessed property." 

The questions concerning pastoral authority suggested this 
query: "What duty is there devolving on a minister which does 
not devolve on a deacon, except to be the administrator of the word 
and the ordinances. Answer: "The pastor has a special rule (Heb. 
13: 7 and 17), and oversight to practice which the deacon has not." 

Neglect of the ordinance of the Lord's Supper by some mem- 
bers was a cause of grief and perplexity, and the Association was 
called on to give its voice concerning the query: "Is it right to ex- 
clude a person for neglect of communion?" To this the careful 
reply was given: "That we think, as a general rule, continued neg- 
lect of attending the ordinances of the Lord's Supper merits ex- 
clusion. Notwithstanding, as such a neglect may originate from 
different causes, we think that these causes ought by the church to 
be taken into consideration, and the individual so neglecting be 
treated as circumstances may require. 'Of some having comjias- 
sion, making a difference, and others saving with fear, pulling them 
out of the fire, hating even the garments spotted by the flesh. 

A query on the temperance pledge brought on an animated dis- 
cussion and a pretty even division of the Association. The ques- 
tion was, "Is it just and right in a church to require of all of its 
members a pledge of entire abstinence from all drinks that are in- 
toxicating as a condition of membership in good standing?" The 
answer by a majority of two was, "Yes." 



48 history of the baptists in vermont 

Caleb Blood's Account of His Journey 

On the 24th of August, 1802, pursuant to appointment of the 
Shaftsbury Association, I set out for a three months' tour in the 
Western country. I traveled first in the northerly and westerly 
part of the state of New York, particularly through the Onondaga 
and Genesee countries. Here I found a large extent of country 
with but very little stated preaching. The people were very nu- 
merous and anxious to hear. At some places, as I went on my 
journey, there were evident tokens of divine power and grace 
among the people, who in general gathered to attend preaching; 
but, as is too often the case in new countries, they are awfully im- 
posed on in some places by false preachers, whose character and 
doctrines are both corrupt. This has often been distressing to me, 
when I have visited the infant plantations of our country, and has 
been one stimulus to my having so often visited the new settle- 
ments in former years. But to return. When I came to Genesee 
River I crossed and went through the wilderness, where there were 
few inliabitants except the natives, for nearly one hundred miles. 
I, however, found two small settlements of white people, with 
whom I attempted to preach. This tract of country is distinguished 
by the name of Hallan Punches. When I had gotten through this 
wilderness I struck Lake Erie, went down to its outlet, and crossed 
over into the westerly part of Upper Canada. Here I found large 
settlements of white people, who understood our language; but 
when I first entered the Province I traveled twenty-five miles be- 
fore I found a house, where the people would willingly open their 
doors for preaching, and scarce any people were willing to converse 
on religious subjects. This route was down the Niagara River to- 
ward Lake Ontario. When I came to Queenstown, I was introduced 
to a Mr. Thompson, a Scotchman, who received me with great 
hospitality and was anxious for preaching. With him I left my 
horse the next morning, and went on foot two miles down the river 
to the landing. 

I crossed into the wilderness on this side, and after climbing 
a precipice of rocks found a kind of house made of rough logs. 
Here I found Elder Holmes, missionary to the Indians. He was sit- 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 49 

ting at a kind of table writing on the business of his mission. If you 
could paint to yourself how you should feel in a dreary land, hun- 
dreds of miles from any brethren in the ministry to advise with, and 
your soul filled with concern to disseminate light among the poor 
heathen, and a number of councils to hold with different nations, 
and no mortal to assist you but an Indian interpreter, you may guess 
what a meeting we had ! We soon went on three miles and a half to 
the Tuscarora village of Indians, and held a council with that na- 
tion, and obtained an answer to a talk sent them from the New York 
Missionary Society on the subject of their receiving the gospel. 
This council was on Saturday. I tarried with Mr. Holmes and 
attended worship with the Indians on the Sabbath. After worship 
in the evening he stated to me the circumstances of the business 
with the Indians, and wished for my assistance. I agreed to spend 
some time with them; accordingly attended three days with the 
Indians. 

Mr. Holmes, being otherwise employed, the Indians were very 
attentive, and the interpreter appeared very pious and faithful. 

I did not find the difficulty in preaching by an inter]3reter that 
I expected. Indeed, to see the poor creatures in such profound ig- 
norance, and yet eagerly attentive to hear instruction, I must say 
absorbed all my feelings beyond any other preaching I ever at- 
tempted in my life. While I was here I had opi)ortunity to make 
some appointments among the people of Ui)per Canada. On Thurs- 
day, I went on my way up Lake Ontario. Here I found large set- 
tlements of white people, and all destitute of preaching. In some 
settlements it was hard work to get them to hear preaching. I was 
in some cases obliged to adopt measures I had been wholly un- 
accustomed to. I was forced to go into settlements and put up, and 
then go from house to house and beg of them to come and hear, and 
did not give out when one after another told me they did not choose 
to attend, and even when they said they would and did not, I still 
tried them again. For when I could once get them to hear they were 
as anxious to hear more as any i)eople I ever saw. Then I made a])- 
pointments on my return. Thus I went on and preached in every 
settlement until I had gone some distance l)eyond the head of Lake 
Ontario. I imputed much of this backwardness in hearing to the 



50 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

people having been so greatly imposed upon by vicious characters, 
who had been among them in the profession of preachers. I must 
here mention a trying circumstance. Word came to me with a re- 
quest to go about fifty miles farther, to a place called Long Point 
Settlement on Lake Erie, informing that there was a work of divine 
grace in that place; that there were thirty or forty persons who stood 
ready for baptism, and no administrator whom they could obtain 
within two hundred miles of them ; but I had my appointment back 
through the Province and could not go to their relief. This tried 
my feelings beyond expression. I endeavored to give the case 
up to God, and returned according to my appointments. 

As I came back through the Province, the people attended 
meetings, which were full and very solemn. Some hopeful symp- 
toms of good appeared among them. I gave them encouragement 
that we should send a missionary among them next year, and they 
were anxious that we should. I left them with reluctance, crossed 
the water at the outlet of Lake Erie, and spent two weeks with the 
Seneca nation of Indians. These are thought to be the most savage 
of any of the Six Nations, and have, therefore, utterly refused to re- 
ceive missionaries. The Grand Council of the Six Nations met 
while I was there. I was admitted with Elder Holmes to attend the 
Council which continued four days. Our interpreter informed us 
what they were doing. They had business on different subjects, 
and among others whether they would follow the dictates of their 
prophet, or receive the gospel ; for in the Allegany Nation a prophet 
had risen up who professed to be immediately inspired by the Great 
Spirit to teach the people. He taught some good morals; just 
enough to answer the purpose of Satan to blind the poor creatures. 
He then urged the necessity of all their Pagan worship. It had been 
the practice of this nation once a year to sacrifice two dogs to the 
Great Spirit. With this sacrifice they offer a kind of incense, made 
of compounded spicy herbs, dried and pulverized, which are throwai 
into the fire, a little at a time, while the dogs are burning. They 
close the scene by a festival, and spend a night in dancing. The 
young warriors are generally pleased with the prophet, and love 
those high dances. Great exertions were made in the Council to 
depose Red Jacket from his office as Sachem because he was in 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 51 

favor of receiving the gospel, and would not submit to the dictates 
of the prophet. A majority, however, of the sachems and chiefs of 
the nations present, with long speeches, delivered strings of wam- 
pum, in confirmation of Red Jacket in his office. This is the famous 
orator by that name who has so often attended public business 
with the government of the United States. The last interview I had 
with him, I went with my interpreter to his own wig^v^am and spent 
some hours in conversation. 

He said, with tears on his cheeks, that he thought it would be 
a happy thing if their nation would receive the gospel; and that 
when he traveled among white people, he noticed that all good 
white people receive it, and pray to the Great Spirit in their houses; 
and that they prayed for the good of the red people, as well as of the 
white people. He further plainly saw that the doctrines that we 
preach to them tended to peace and good order in society ; but the 
doctrine of their prophet tended only to confusion. I pitied the 
poor creature, persecuted by his own people, without means of de- 
fen.se. I attended some of their meetings where they were cove- 
nanting to follow the instruction of the prophet. Their zeal went to 
great extremes, and there were such hideous yells interspersed with 
their devotions, as would have effectually tried my courage if ray 
interpreter had not been there to inform me what they meant. But, 
notwithstanding all their confusion, it was easy to be perceived, as 
I attended with them at the Seneca village, that light daily in- 
creased in their minds, and some of them seemed sensible that the 
temper of the gospel is preferable to savage barbarity. 

From the Senecas I went in company with Elder Holmes 
thirty miles to the Lanlawanly village of Indians, but the sachems 
being absent, could not obtain a council with them as we hoped. 
The night before we left them was a severe rain, and a part of that 
day, being taken up in our concern for the Indians, we were inat- 
tentive to the time in the day when we left the village, so that night 
overtook us while we were in the woods. The timber high and the 
night dark, we soon found ourselves out of tiie patli and could not 
regain it; accordingly we were obliged to tariy that night in the 
wilderness. We were on low land, so that the water prevented us 
from lying down to get any sleep that night. We, however, spent 



52 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

that time in religious devotion and conversation; the hours rolled 
away insensibly, and we passed the night in a manner quite agree- 
able; we were glad, however, to see the dawn of day. When the 
kind heavens had given us light we found our path and went on our 
way. This day there was a storm of snow. Two days after I parted 
with Mr. Holmes, which I was obliged to do before we could obtain 
a council with the different nations, as we intended. My obliga- 
tions and engagements on my way home, and the idea of leaving 
my brother Holmes, to go through this business without any hu- 
man assistance but his Indian interpreter, wrought up every feel- 
ing in my heart to the highest pitch. Concluding, however, that 
anxiety could do no good, I endeavored to resign the matter to 
Him, who can give to all his servants strength equal to their day. 
I then pursued my way home, preaching through the country 
as I came. The kind Lord returned me in safety to my family 
and people, and I found all things well. 

The experiences of Elder Blood here related were probably no 
more trying and eventful than those of many of his brethren who 
from year to year followed in his paths. A volume of thrilling in- 
terest could be written if the reports of the other missionaries had 
been as fully related and as carefully preserved. Among these 
zealous missionaries were Joseph Cornell, Calvin Chamberlain, 
Nathaniel Kendrick, Solomon BrowTi, Daniel Haskall, George 
Witherell, Ebenezer Smith and Cyrus Andrews. 

The pitiable condition of the Indians appealed to the sympa- 
thy of these brethren, and they gave them no little attention, win- 
ning their confidence and gratitude. The Tuscarora Indians were 
in particular responsive to the efforts of the missionaries, sending to 
the Association by them "written talks" expressive of their ap- 
preciation, and requesting further help, and sending, also, strings 
of wampum expressive of their friendship. To these the Associa- 
tion sent replies, and a staff or some other symbol of their regard. 

In 1803, Lemuel Covell delivered an address to the Tuscororas 
in behalf of the Association, and preserved a copy of their reply, 
which was published in the Massachusetts Baptist missionary 
magazine as follows : 



history of the baptists in vermont 53 

Letter from the Tuscarora Indians to the Shaftsbury 
Association, 1803 

Fathers and Brethren: 

We are very happy to meet you here this day, and that we are 
well and in health. As many of us as are here, have met to let 
you know our minds, and what we have to say, I thank the good 
people, the ministers, that they have sent missionaries to visit our 
fire-place — ^to preach the gospel — the will of the Great Spirit, to 
us. Our whole nation thanks the ministers for their good will to 
our nation. 

We hope the Great Spirit may protect you safe on your jour- 
ney home — that you may find all at your fire-place well. AYe pray 
that the Great Spirit may prosper your labours. 

I say to the good people, that when they see our mistakes or 
errors, that they will not think hard of us, because we meet wath a 
great many difficulties in the way. We slowly go on to get ac- 
quainted about the Great Spirit- — for we thmk we are firm in taking 
hold of the gospel. 

We say now, all we chiefs of our nation, we hope that the good 
people will not be discouraged about us because other nations of our 
color do not receive the gospel ; for we are sure that we wish to be 
instructed. 

We are chiefs — we do all we can to persuade our young men 
and our children to be taught in the good way- — that they may be- 
come acquainted with the gospel, to the latest generation. 

Second Sachem — I am very much pleased, and thank the min- 
isters of the Shaftsbury Association who sent you to us to preach the 
good word to us, which we have felt in our hearts ! 

First Sachem — I send word to my nephew, George, that he 
would not be uneasy about us — we have put off drinking spirituous 
liquor, — we feel happy to live a sober life-^I wish that he would 
keep from liquor, and not taste one drop, so that he may be sober. 

You may know by this, that I am glad always to see ministers, 
and hear their good words. 

SCARESA X First Sachem, 
WILLIAM X Printup, Second Sachem. 

October 31, 1803. 



54 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

We, the subscribers, certify, that the foregoing Speech, was 
delivered by the above named Sachems, to the Rev. Lemuel Co veil, 
word for word, as near as could be translated. 

Witness our hands, 

NICHOLAS COSICK 

JOHN X MOUNTPLEASANT Interpreters. 

I, Hereby certify, that I write down the above Speech as de- 
livered to me by the above interpreters. 

ELKANAH HOLMES. 



Chapter III 

ITINERANT MISSIONARIES FROM THE MASSACHU- 
SETTS BAPTIST MISSIONARY SOCIETY AND THE 
MAINE BAPTIST MISSIONARY SOCIETY 

While the missionaries of the several associations were busy 
in their beneficent work of evangelism, they were ably assisted by 
the missionaries of the Maine Baptist Missionary Society, and 
the Massachusetts Baptist Missionary Society. 

In October, 1802, Rev. John Tripp, one of the first trustees 
of the Maine Baptist Missionary Society, and for forty-nine years 
pastor of the church in Hebron, Maine, commenced missionary 
labors under the society which he ably represented. While preach- 
ing in towns on the New Hampshire side of the Connecticut River, 
he crossed over and preached in Northumberland, Vt., May, 1803. 
In January, 1804, he preached in Waterford on the Vermont side. 
Here he found a few brethren sincere and earnestly desiring in- 
struction. At their request, he urged the missionary society to 
pay them some attention. 

In May, that same year, the Massachusetts Baptist Missionary 
Society appointed Rev. Peter Philanthropos Root, a missionary, with 
directions to visit the District of Maine, Upper Coos, and the 
destitute parts of Vermont, and so westward. In August of that 
year, Mr. Root preached in Brunswick, Maidstone, Guildhall, 
Granby, Waterford, St. Johnsbury, Bamet and Ryegate. 

Leaving this country he writes, "I steered my course for 
the LaMoille and Onion Rivers, preaching as I passed from place 
to place, but after leaving Onion River, I did not stop to preach 
till I came to Pawlet, where I attended the Vermont Association, 
October 3 and 4. 

In 1806, Mr. Root went again to Otter Creek and preached in 
Ira, Rutland, Leicester, New Haven, Cornwall and Sudbury. 



56 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

Samuel Ambrose was another zealous itinerant minister sent 
out by the Massachusetts Society. He visited the destitute dis- 
tricts of Vermont in March, 1909, going through Danville, Hard- 
wick, Greensboro, Irasburgh, Barton and Coventry. He found 
Esquire Ide's house a sanctuary, and after preaching there, spent 
three days visiting from house to house, then crossed over into 
Canada, and returning, preached on his way home to the churches 
that had given him previous welcome. 

In December of the same year, he began a midwinter journey 
at Bethel, going thence to Randolph, Brookiield, Roxbury, Warren, 
Waitsfield, Moortown, Cabot, Hardwick, Craftsbury and Coven- 
try. At Coventry he found a church had been organized since his 
summer visit. This midwinter tour was one of wearisome journey- 
ing, exposed to tedious storms and other forms of discomfort. 
The record of it is given as by one who enjoyed the memory of it, 
and who had no disposition to magnify the trials of it. 

He refers with special pleasure to his visit at Brookfield, at 
the home of Elder Samuel Hovey. A reformation had been in 
progress in that place all summer, and ten of Elder Hovey 's family, 
and near connections, had "obtained a comfortable hope in Christ" 
as well as a goodly number more from ten to twelve to fifty years 
of age. 

Samuel Churchill traversed this same territory in 1811, and 
Barnabas Perkins again in 1816. The reports of these missionary 
journeys, as given in the Baptist missionary magazine, are full of 
the incidents of this interesting and fruitful ministry. 

Rev. Phineas Pillsbury, another of the missionaries sent out 
by the Maine Society, drawn by the destitute condition of Ver- 
mont, crossed the line from New Hampshire and did evangelistic 
work here. He came to Danville in February, 1807, where he 
found a small Calvinistic Baptist church, and one Free Will Baptist 
church. Here he preached six times, and then rode seventeen miles 
to Hardwick and "preached a lecture at the house of Deacon 
Fuller" of the Congregational church. There was another Con- 
gregational church there and one Free Will Baptist. He next 
visited Greensboro and preached in a Congregational church. 
Thence he made his way to Craftsbury. He was informed that 



I 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 57 

there was no regularly ordained minister of any denomination in 
Orleans Comity, besides a multitude of destitute places in ad- 
joining counties. After crossing into Canada, on his return, he 
stopped at Alburgh, where there had recently been a reformation, 
and the converts had sent for a council to organize them into a 
Baptist church. On this mission he spent six months, rode eleven 
hundred and twenty-seven miles, preached one hundred and fifty- 
five times, baptized four persons and attended to other missionary 
labors. Received eleven dollars and forty -two cents, and expend- 
ed eight dollars and eleven cents. 

Joshua Bradley, a missionary of the Massachusetts Society, 
visited the new settlements in Vermont in the fall of 1804. He 
attended the Woodstock Association in Alstead and "beheld their 
good order, love, peace, unity and zeal. " Then he visited Braintree, 
preaching in difi^erent parts of the town, then went to Randolph, 
followed by a large number of people from Braintree, who were 
eager to hear more of the Gospel from his lips. He preached later 
at Hartford, and was greatly moved by the evidence of spiritual 
destitution among the people and their need of shepherding. 

Barnabas Perkins made a missionary journey, beginning his 
work in Danville, September 18, 1809. From Danville he was called 
to St. Johnsbury to visit a sick man, who a little before had been 
calling for some one to pray with him, and there was no one, who 
had learned to pray for himself, able to respond to the dying man's 
request. After spending some time here, at Lyndon, and Whee- 
lock, he returned to Danville and baptized two persons. Thence 
he made his way to Coventry, where a reformation was in progress. 
This was an eventful visit. Mr. Perkins had been there the pre- 
vious July and had preached in the home of John Ide, a highly 
respected citizen, supposed to be inclined to Universalist sentiments. 
Mr. Perkins, while spending the evening with INIr. Ide, talked 
with him on the nature and design of the atonement, the freeness 
of grace, the necessity of the new birth and of faith in Jesus Christ, 
without which no one can be saved. "His host was respectful, but 
reticent." He seemed to be in deep study. Mr. Perkins, after 
preaching twice in the place, left, not knowing the result of his 
"fire-place sermon." But the truth found lodgment in a good 



58 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

heart and brought forth fruit. Mr. Ide was soon thrown into deep 
conviction in which he continued for several days, and then came 
into "sweet Hberty." His wife and four others were converted, 
and a deep rehgious seriousness pervaded every family in the place. 
Later, Mr. Ide was baptized by Mr. Perkins. He afterward be- 
came the pastor of the Coventry church and continued in that 
relation sixteen years. He was the father of George B. Ide, who 
became well-known in the denomination far beyond the limits of 
his native state. The Coventry church was supplied by several 
of the missionaries of the Massachusetts Society, among them, Ariel 
Kendrick, Samuel Churchill, Barnabas Perkins and Jacob Cottle. 
From this church was set off, in 1816, members to constitute the 
church in Irasburgh, and, in 1817, others to constitute the church 
in Newport, and, in 1818, still others to form the church in Troy. 

Mr. Perkins made another tour in September, assisted in 
organizing a church in Lunenburg, and baptized several persons 
in Derby, two of them aged women, one seventy -five and the other 
seventy-eight years of age. 

Barnabas Perkins relates the following: 

A REMARKABLE DREAM 
{Miss. Mag. Vol. 2, p. 180.) 

Lord's Day, the 16th of October, I preached at Wheelock, and 
while I was there a respectable sister, belonging to the Danville 
church, sent me the following dream : 

Sister D. in a dream thought her father, who had been dead 
about five years, came to see her, with whom she had considerable 
conversation; after which he went to the door as though he were 
going away, but turned about and asked if Mr. Perkins were going 
to preach in town any more. She answered, yes. He asked, when? 
She answered, "the Lord's day after next." He asked, at what 
place.^* She answered, "at the courthouse." He replied, "Tell 
him that he must preach from this text, John 21, 22. 'Jesus saith 
unto him, if I will that he tarry until I come, what is that to thee? 
Follow thou me.' And do you tell him that this is an errand from 
me." On my way to Danville, I called on her and she repeated the 
dream as related above; and told me withal, that she had a trial on 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 59 

her mind about doing the errand; but the impression was so great 
that she dared not omit it. She furthermore told me that she 
could not remember a word of the conversation with her father, 
excepting what is related above. It made a singular impression 
on my mind which led me to think much about it. However, it 
was not long before a field opened from the text, that was quite 
new to me. When the time came for me to preach, I delivered my 
subject with much freedom of mind; and the attention of the 
people appeared to be called up. A few days after, I baptized 
three amiable young sisters in the bloom of life. They declared 
that the text and subject so impressed their minds, that they felt 
constrained to follow the example of their Lord and Master. 
Some others told me afterwards that they had hard work to go 
from the water, and not receive the ordinance. "He that hath 
a dream let him tell a dream." 



Chapter IV 

LATER ACCOUNTS OF THE CHURCHES IN SHAFTS- 
BURY, POWNAL AND WALLINGFORD. 



The First Shaftsbury 

Steven Wright gives the following later history of this church: 
In 1801-2, they had a pastor in the person of Elder Andrew 
Harpending; his labors seem not to have been of much service to 
them. But, in 1803, Isaiah Mattison, one of their own number, 
born, reared, converted and baptized among them, was called for- 
ward to public service, and in November of that year he was or- 
dained to the pastoral care of his native church at the age of twenty- 
three and a half years. In 1807, this church reported nineteen ad- 
ditions; in 1811, thirty -three more, and from that onward till 1825, 
a few scattering drops fell upon their soil to encourage the fainting 
laborers. Yet, with their pastor's labors only one-half the time from 
1807, there was a gradual decrease of their numbers from one hun- 
dred and thirty-six until in the year 1824, they reported only six- 
ty-five members in standing. But, in 1825, they went ui> to the 
Association rejoicing over thirty-five accessions to their number; 
and, in 1827, they reported over forty more, making a total 
of one hundred and thirty, after dismissing fifteen the year 
previous. In 1831—4, during three years, they received seventy-one 
by baptism and a few by letter, raising their total membership to 
one hundred and eighty-two. Again, in 1839, they reported thirty- 
two baptized; and, in 1843, seventeen more, which was the last re- 
vival they ever enjoyed. During the long period of forty years 
Isaiah Mattison was their spiritual guide and counsellor. He was, in 
fact, the only pastor the church ever really enjoyed. All others had 
been mere transient helps for a brief period. But this pastorate 
endured till its incumbent had well-nigh worn himself out in the 



62 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

service of this single church and the fourth church for a while half 
the time. 

After the death of their pastor, this church became entangled 
in difficulties and dissolved its organization in 1844, after an ex- 
istence as an independent body about seventy -six years. 



The Fourth Shaftsbury, Later Called Third Shaftsbury 

Elder Blood continued his relation with this church as pastor 
until April, 1807, a period of nearly twenty years. Owing to the 
destitution of Baptist ministers in this region at that time, and 
owang to his long and justly established character as a successful 
minister of the gospel, whose fame was in all the churches, he was so 
frequently called upon to attend public meetings, councils, as- 
sociations, ordinations and funerals, that it took much of his time, 
and his people felt the loss. Several circumstances conspired to fix 
his mind upon a resignation. Years had passed without any special 
work of grace under his ministry. His congregations had been 
thinned by death and removals, and frequent and urgent solicita- 
tions were made to him for his service in other places. He removed 
from this place to Boston, and two years afterwards to Portland, 
Maine, at which place this venerable man closed his eyes on all 
earthly scenes. 

Upon the dismission of Elder Blood, the church made applica- 
tion to Elder Isaiah Mattison of the west church and obtained his 
services for one-half the time, he preaching every other Sunday for 
this church and continuing his connection w^ith the first church as 
their pastor. This arrangement continued with Elder Mattison for 
nearly nineteen years, until the 1st of January, 1826. During the 
ministry of Elder Mattison two revivals of religion were enjoyed, 
one in 1810—1811, in w^hich about one hundred members were 
added, and one in 1817, in which twenty were added. 

Following Elder Mattison's pastorate. Elder Daniel Tinkham 
served one year, and Elder Cyrus Hodges, four years, ending in the 
spring of 1833, during which time two revivals were ^^^tnessed, one 
in 1829, in which thirty-two were added; the other in 1831, in which 



i 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 63 

forty-one were added. The consistent piety of this devoted servant 
of Christ, together with his amiable deportment, sweetness of tem- 
per and meekness of mind, greatly endeared him to the people of 
his charge, especially to those who, by the Divine blessing, had be- 
come the subjects of grace under his ministry. 

In the month of January, 1839, a committee was appointed to 
take into consideration the subject of holding a series of religious 
meetings, and in their discretion to employ suitable gifts in aid of 
such meetings. This led to the acquaintance with Joseph W. Saw- 
yer, who came at the request of said committee to labor for the 
church. These labors proved successful, and with the blessing of 
God, resulted in the addition of .^//?/ members. Elder Sawyer was 
employed as pastor of the church and so continued for five years. 
In the autumn of IS-l^, and winter and spring of 1843, a very in- 
teresting work of grace was enjoyed by the church and one hundred 
were added to its number. Several united, who had been members 
of the Second church, and the Second church held no meetings 
after that time, being thus dissolved. 

Elder Sawyer was succeeded by Elder Israel Keach in the 
spring of 1845, who remained wath the church as their pastor for 
three years; and in the summer of 1848, Elder Lansing Bailey was 
chosen and remained till 1851. During the autumn of 1849, twenty- 
five new members were added as the result of a series of meetings 
held by Elder Isaac Wescott. 

After reading the record of such f recjuent revivals and large in- 
gatherings one might expect to find reports of a large membership 
at the end of this period, and is surprised to learn that this church, in 
1852, returned to the Association one hundrefl and seventy as its 
membership. The explanation is that large numbers, which united 
during so many successive revivals, were dismissed j)rincipally as 
a consequence of emigration to the West, where many of them were 
promptlj' called to fill important stations. 

(The foregoing sketch was prepared by the Hon. Xathaii H. 
Bottom, for many years clerk of tin's Shaftsbury church, in Juiu\ 
1852). 

The more recent record of the clun-cirs history is of fre((uent 
changes in the ministry, gradually decreasing membership; earnest 



64 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

effort to meet the demands of changing conditions in the commun- 
ity. Much has been made of the Sunday school and young people's 
meetings. In 1857, the church was sustaining seven Sunday schools 
in different parts of the town. Prayer meetings in school-houses and 
private dweUings have been means of reaching the scattered mem- 
bership and their neighbors. Since 1852, the following pastors have 
served short periods: Arthur Day, S. Adams, J. Tucker, J. N. 
Chase, M. Merriam, Philander Perry, W. H. Rugg, P. C. Dayfoot, 
G. B. Smith, A. J. Chandler, C. A. Votey, G. A. Wilkins, J. Free- 
man, L. B. Steele, J. M. Compton, G. N. Gardner, Geo. Williams, 
Thomas Adams. The membership, in 1911, numbered forty-nine. 

POWNAL 

Elder Caleb Nichols gave fifteen years of faithful labor among 
this people, and died in their affections. 

The next pastor was Elder Dyer Starks, three years. For three 
or four years they were again without a pastor, 1807—1810, and dur- 
ing this time they were favored with a gracious revival, aided by 
the labors of Elder John Leland, so that in 1808, they reported to 
the Association, meeting with them that year, the accession of 
seventy-seven and a total of one hundred and ninety -two in the 
membership of the church. 

In the year, 1811-12, Elder David Hurlbert was pastor; and 
then three years of destitution till 1816. George Robinson was 
pastor for five years. But, from 1811 to 1821, it was a time of de- 
clension in which not more than five persons were added to the 
church, according to the minutes of the Association. For many 
years the church was supplied in their seasons of destitution by two 
licentiates living among them, named Benjamin Gardner, and Dr. 
Cranmer Bannister. Elder Leland, of Chester, usually baptized for 
them. 

In 1822, they report twenty-six baptized, with a total of only 
ninety -five. In 1824-5, Elder Edward Green was pastor and thirty- 
one baptized in 1824. In 1829, we find Elder Wakeman O. Johnson 
pastor, and in 1831-3, Elder Green was again their supply, with an 
addi tion of fifteen in the time. But, in 1834, Elihu Dutcher was their 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IX VERMONT 65 

pastor till 1837. During his first year, in mid-summer, a powerful 
revival was enjoyed as the result of a protracted meeting in which 
various ministers assisted, among whom was Elder Eber Tucker, 
an evangelist, and fifty-nine were baptized, raising the number to 
one hundred and seven. In 1837, another season of refreshing was 
enjoyed in a similar meeting, in which their pastor, Elder Thomas 
S. Rogers, was aided by Elder William Grant, which brought in 
another accession of twenty by baptism. Elder Rogers was or- 
dained in the midst of these meetings. He remained only a year. 
After him came Elder Isaac Childs as pastor, and then a destitution 
for three years. In 1843, Elder D. W. Gifford, pastor, there were 
no additions, — total membership, seventy-eight. 

In 184-3, Elder Matthew Batchelor settled among them and 
continued pastor for many years. 

In 1854, the Association passed the following resolutions : 

Whereas, it has been made known to this Association by the 
North Bennington and Hoosick churches that they recently com- 
menced a labor with the church in Pownal, with reference to certain 
heretical sentiments understood to have l)een embraced by their 
pastor. Rev. Matthew Batcheler, and fellowshiped by them, par- 
ticularly the following, viz.: That future punishment of the wicked 
consists in an utter extinction of being, and 

Whereas, it was satisfactorily ascertained, from the acknowl- 
edgement of both pastor and people, that the doctrines above re- 
ferred to are held and propagated by them, and 

Whereas, the said church refuses to unite with them in calling 
a mutual council, therefore. 

Resolved, that according to Article V of our Constitution, 
said church be "considered as regularly out of fellowship, and be 
dropped from the minutes." In 1873, the Association appointed a 
committee, consisting of Rev. Z. Jones, Rev. F. Henry, and Rev. 
S. L. Peck, to visit the church in Pownal to learn the condition of 
the church and their wishes with reference to its reinstatement \\'ith 
them. This committee at the next meeting reported that a visit had 
been made to several prominent members of the Pownal church, 
with whom they were acquainted, and on stating the object of their 



66 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

visit were most cordially welcomed, and each for himself expressed 
much gratification that the church had been thus remembered; 
and the Committee from information these brethren gave, in refer- 
ence to the condition of things there, are encouraged to believe the 
prospect is fa^'orable to its early reinstatement into the fellowship 
of the Association. Upon this report, the Association voted to re- 
ceive the Pownal church, and the hand of fellowship was extended 
to its pastor. Rev. J. M. Batcheler. For a few years there was little 
sign of vitality. In 1879, Arthur Day was chosen pastor, and the 
membership reported was thirty -five. The house of worship was 
put in repair and the church began to show anxiety concerning its 
future. 

A. H. Simons was pastor in 1883, and three were baptized, the 
first for many years. L. E. Scott followed, in 1888, and ten new 
members were added. Women's Mission Circles were organized. 

In 1890, three hundred dollars were expended on their church 
property. McGeorge came to their help in 1892 and twenty-one new 
members were received. The next year the church entertained the 
Association for the first time in fifty-one years, and for the fifth 
time in its history, the other times being in 1808, 1828, 1837 and 
1843. Rev. Thomas Cull, visited them in 1895, and seven new 
members were received. In 1897, Rev. B. F. Kellogg began a pastor- 
ate of seven years, during which Rev. W. A. Davison, State Superin- 
tendent of Missions, assisted in a series of meetings, resulting in the 
addition of twelve. Rev. F. W. Klein had a short pastorate, 1904. 
In 1907, State Evangelist Hafer held a ten days' meeting with the 
church and baptized fourteen and received three by letter. The 
help rendered at intervals thus by the State evangelists proved 
most fruitful and gave the church new hopefulness and influence. 

Rev. C. E. VanSchaick was the next pastor, under whose 
ministry the church became greatly encouraged. In 1908, it invited 
the Association to hold its sessions with them the next year. In 
1909, H. G. Mohl became pastor. The bright prospects of the 
church were greatly darkened January 11, when their church 
edifice, recently renovated, w is destroyed by fire. The member- 
ship last reported was seventy-six. Under the energetic leader- 




Rev. S. H. x\rchibald 

The efficient Secretary of the State Convention for twenty-two years 
Born, 1848— Died, 1904 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 67 

ship of pastor Mohl, a new, substantial edifice was erected in 
place of the one destroyed by fire, and dedicated in 1912. 

Wallingford 

After the resignation of Elder Henry Greene, in 1807, the 
church came to rely on Deacon Randall. He supplied the pulpit 
by exchange with neighboring pastors; by the use of his own talents, 
and in many ways, sought to maintain the institutions of the church. 
Some were not edified by the improvement of his gifts ; others were 
doubtless jealous of his lead, and instead of doing what they could 
to secure a pastor, tried to weaken him in his labors. It was a long, 
dark time. Many were excluded and others were lost to the church 
for usefulness and christian growth. Still others removed, and the 
ranks were fearfully decimated by these causes, and by heresy, 
which came into the church; a preacher, named Lobdell, leading 
se^•eral from their love to the church. Political divisions entered, 
and it being the time of the war of 1812, some were excluded for 
being Federalists. But this danger passed and others were en- 
countered. 

The meetings had been scattered, the church divided and re- 
duced, but there was a faithful remnant and, in 1816, there is ex- 
pressed in the records a desire for new life and power, and methods 
of attaining this end are sought and mentioned. In 1814, some steps 
had been taken looking to the securing of a pastor, and in this Dea- 
con Randall took the lead. In January, 1817, ten years after the 
departure of Rev. Henry Greene, they chose Sedgwick Rice, a licen- 
tiate from Connecticut, who labored about two years on a salary of 
one hundred dollars. 

A long succession of brief pastorates follows: Lemon Andrews, 
1821-1824; Gibbon Williams, 1826-1828, two years; Frederick 

Page, 1830-1834, four years; Davis, 1837-1838, six months; 

Leland Huntley, 1838—1839, one year; Joseph H. Sherwin, 
1839-1841, one and three-quarter years; Daniel Hascall, 1841- 
1843, two years; Joseph Packer, 1843-1844, one year; A. A. Con- 
stantine, 1844-1845, (me year; R. Meyers, 1845-1847, two years; 



bo HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

Frederick Page, 1849-1850, one year; S. L. Elliott, 1851-1857, five 
and one-half years; Edwin M. Haynes, 1857-1859, two years; 
Edward Conovec, 1859-1863, three and one-half years; James W. 
Grant, 1863-1864, one and one-half years; R.G.Johnson, 1865-1867, 
two years; Joshua Fletcher, D. D., 1869-1873, three and one-half 
years; Edward Conover, 1874-1876, two years; Henry S. Archibald, 
1876. 

Up to this date there had been twenty-one pastorates covering 
sixty-five years, giving an average of a little more than three years, 
or deducting that of Rev. Henry Greene, the remaining ones average 
two and one-fourth years. For thirty-five years, or more than one- 
third the history of the church at that time, the church had been 
without a pastor. The total number received into this church up 
to the time of its centennial, in 1880, was seven hundred and 
eighteen. There were on its roll at that time seventy -four. 

Its present house of worship was erected in 1827, at a cost of 
$870.00. Recent renovations and improvements make it still a 
comely and convenient church home. 

With Rev. S. Henry Archibald's pastorate, a new order of 
things began. As a wise, energetic, patient laborer, he devoted him- 
self to the interests of this church with genuine ardor and love. He 
was a genuine under-shepherd to them. Though his immediate 
parish was limited in extent, he became influential in all the enter- 
prises of the denomination, serving matiy years on the Board of the 
Convention, as secretary; he became intimately acquainted with 
the condition of the churches, generally, and his judgment was of 
much value. He retained his position as pastor of the Wallingford 
church twenty-two years. He was succeeded by Rev. S. F. Smith, 
four years; S. P. Perry, 1902-1903; S. F. Leathers, 1903-1905; 
C. R. B. Dodge, 1906-1910; S. D. Sykes, 1910. 

The associational relationships of this church have been 
varied. In 1788, it withdrew from the Shaftsbury Association to 
unite with the Vermont Association, which was more conveniently 
near. In 1808, it withdrew from the Vermont Association and 
remained unassociated till 1824, when it united with the Man- 
chester Association, remaining in that body till it disbanded some 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 69 

five years later. In 1833, it again united vnth the Vermont As- 
sociation and has since been a member of that body, or its suc- 
cessor, the present Shaftsbury Association. 

A name worthy of special mention and remembrance is that 
of Deacon Joseph Randall. For fifty-four years he served the 
church as clerk; for fifty-six years as deacon, and much of the time 
he filled the pulpit of the church, and ever interested himself in its 
welfare. He is most emphatically its hero and its greatest burden 
bearer. He filled an important place in civil life — Representative 
four years, Judge of Probate four years, and was also a member of 
the Constitutional Convention of 1793. He also filled other town 
ofiices — as town clerk, etc. Says the author of the biographical 
sketch in the Vermont Historical Gazeteer: "In addition to this, 
he bore his part in the war of the Revolution, and also in the war of 
1812. An honorable man, a christian, a patriot, he was of very 
great benefit to the town and performed no inconsiderable ser%nce 
for the State." Says Mr. Archibald, "doubtless he had his faults, 
but time has covered these. His integrity, his virtues and his 
fidelity shine above the lapse of years. Having faithfully served 
his generation and well discharged the duties which belonged to 
him, he fell asleep in Christ, April 15, 1836, aged eighty years." 



Chapter V 
THE VERMONT ASSOCIATION 

In May, 1785, the delegates from five little churches with four 
pastors met in Elder Joseph Cornell's barn in Manchester, and 
organized an association to which they gave the name of Vermont 
Association. The churches thus uniting were: Manchester, Clar- 
endon, Danby, Middleton, and Granville, N. Y., with a total mem- 
bership of two hundred and thirteen. The pastors were: Joseph 
Cornell, Thomas Skeels, Isaac Beals and John R. Dodge. It is 
probable that their first published minutes were printed in 1789. 
There were then eleven churches, and six hundred and thirteen 
members. In 1791, there were fifteen churches and four hundred 
and eighty-four members. The territory then included in this body 
extended from Manchester on the south to Georgia on the north, 
and in addition to that covered when first organized, it included all 
now included in the Addison and the Lamoille Associations. 

Little is known of the history of the Association during the 
first ten years. Of the three circular letters which have come down 
to us from this period, one is on the duty of searching the Scriptures, 
and trying ourselves constantly by that standard, both in respect 
to our doctrines and our practice; another sets forth christian fel- 
lowship as consisting, first, in fellowship with God the Father, and 
secondly, with those who are godly and walk in the truth. 

The sentiments, as condensed in the preamble of a new Con- 
stitution, published in 1796, were these: 

"We believe that the scriptures of the Old and the New Testa- 
ment are the word of God and the only rule of faith and practice, — 
that there is one God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, — the doc- 
trine of eternal personal election, — total depravity, — the convey- 
ance of dn from Adam by natural generation to all his posterity, — 
of pardon and justification alone by the blood and righteousness of 



72 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

Christ, — the final perseverance of the saints, — resurrection of the 
dead and a general judgment, — that the punishment of the wicked 
will be endless, the happiness of the righteous eternal, — the sanctity 
of the Sabbath (otherwise the Lord's day), — immersion, the only 
mode of baptism and its necessity to the communion of the Lord's 
Supper; that none have a right to either ordinance but true be- 
lievers in Christ; that no person has any right to administer them 
but those who are called of God, and regularly set apart to the 
sacred office by a presbytery of ordained ministers of the gospel, 
appointed by the churches." 

The first constitution was liberal, acknowledging the entire 
independence of the churches, but reserving to itself the right of 
rejecting or excluding churches and ministers who had become cor- 
rupt in sentiment or practice. But to some of the brethren the 
original provisions of the constitution did not sufficiently guard 
against a nominal and undesirable fellowship, and a Convention 
was called, in 1795, to revise the constitution or make a new one. 

The committee on revision consisted of Isaac Beals, Caleb 
Blood and Obed Warren. The proposed Convention was held at 
Wallingford the 6th of January, 1796. The reading of the special 
provisions of the new constitution indicate that in the minds of 
its advocates, the dominant purpose of an Association was to guard 
from infringement the orthodoxy of the churches and its owti doc- 
trinal purity. 

By the provisions of the new Constitution, the churches were 
represented in the Association by two members only, the pastor 
and one delegate, or in the case of a pastorless church, by at most 
two delegates, and each delegate was to bring a letter, not only 
certifying to his appointment by the church, but also stating the 
esential doctriyies of the gospel held by them, and the present state of 
their churches. If the church sent a minister as their messenger, 
who had not previously been a member of the Association, the As- 
sociation was to examine him respecting a ivork of grace upon his 
soul, ministerial qualifications, principles in the christian religion, 
etc. If the examination did not prove satisfactory the minister was 
to be refused a seat in the Association, his church informed of the 
objection, and unless the objection was removed by them or the 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 73 

pastor dismissed, the church would be refused the fellowship of the 
Association. 

Two other lengthy articles provided for the settlement of 
difficulties between churches in the Association, and also between 
any church in this Association and one belonging to a correspond- 
ing association. 

The Association practically reorganized itself into a standing 
council, to test the soundness of ministers and churches within its 
own constituency, and even, if need be, to pass judgment upon 
churches and associations ^\ith ivhich they were in correspond- 
ence. 

Naturally, this action caused serious disagreement and ulti- 
mately rent the Association into two parties. In 1799, two sets of 
delegates presented themselves at the Shaftsbury Association, both 
claiming to represent the Vermont Association. The Shaftsbury 
cautiously but kindly declined to receive either delegation officially, 
but invited both to seats individually; appointed a committee to 
investigate, and two years later, recognized as the Vermont As- 
sociation, the body which had adopted the new constitution. 

Before 1805, however, another convention had been called by 
both parties in the Vermont Association, and their differences 
amicably adjusted and reunion effected. At the close of the second 
decade of its history, the Association numbered nineteen churches, 
ten ordained ministers, and one thousand three hundred and seven- 
ty-four members. 

At this time it was in correspondence with eight other associa- 
tions, and was carefully providing for the supply of the pulpits of 
pastorless churches, each church giving its pastor occasional leave 
of absence to supply some other church, unable to support preach- 
ing. Now an incident occurred which opened the way for a broader 
work into which the Association heartily entered. 

The record of it is: "As we understand, our beloved brother, 
William Harrington, contemplates a journey to preach in the new 
settlements the ensuing year, we take this opportunity to express 
our approbation, and do cheerfully recommend him to all who wish 
to hear the Word of Life dispensed, as a regularly ordained minister 
of the gospel in our fellowship." 



74 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

Mr. Harrington made two tours on the east side of Lake Cham- 
plain as far as the bounds of Canada, and spent a few days in that 
province, and f I'om his mission he brought to the Association such 
encouraging reports that definite plans were adopted for the con- 
tinuance of the work. A standing committee of twelve was ap- 
pointed annually, half the number being ministers, the others lay- 
men. These were carefully organized as directors, for the 
appointing of missionaries, directing their labors and meeting their 
expenses. 

Until 18'20, the Association continued this important work. 
The men employed as missionaries were: Isaac Sawyer, William 
Harrington, Samuel Rowley, Solomon Brown, Abel Wood, Henry 
Chamberlain, Elisha Starkweather, J. W. Sawyer, Roswell Mears, 
Clark Kendrick, John Spaulding. Two or three tours were made 
annually. The most active in this work was Isaac Sawyer, who made 
at least seven tours. They journeyed along the east and the west 
side of Lake Champlain, into Canada, and along the St. Lawrence 
in northern New York, and into the valley of the Scroon. Their 
usual time was two months' absence, during which time they would 
preach upward of fifty sermons and perform other work. They re- 
ceived on an average five dollars a week, and returned to the As- 
sociation treasury all collections received on their tours, thus re- 
ducing considerably their expenses. The importance and blessed 
results of this mission work can never be estimated. 

The visit to this Association, in ISl^, of Luther Rice, the 
associate of Adoniram Judson, gave it a broader outlook and led 
it to engage in foreign mission work. A society was organized 
auxiliary to the Triennial Convention and the Association engaged 
at once in promoting, with praiseworthy liberality, the foreign work. 
In 1815, $381.00 are found in the foreign mission fund. At the close 
of this third decade of its history, the Association embraced twenty- 
two churches, twenty ministers, and one thousand eight hundred 
and thirty-six communicants, being an increase during the last ten 
years of three churches and four hundred and sixty-two members. 
The funds raised for domestic missions were given in charge of the 
Foreign Mission Society, and that society assuming the name of 
The Vermont Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, went for- 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 75 

ward in its useful work, making frequent appropriations to both 
foreign and domestic work. Its receipts, exclusive of legacies, are 
estimated to have averaged not much less than $150.00 a year. In 
1826, this society was merged in the State Convention. 

The year 1817 was one of remarkable ingathering. There 
were received that year, by baptism, eight hundred and sixty-six; 
and by letter, one hundred and seven. The Poultney church 
received nipety-nine by baptism; Addison, ninety -three; Ira, 
sixty-eight; Granville, sixty-nine; Middletown, fifty-eight; Ferris- 
burg, eighty-two. The total membership of the Association ad- 
vanced to the number of two thousand eight hundred and forty. 
The year 1809 was a remarkable one for the Middletown church, 
which received one hundred and twelve by baptism. 

Twice the Vermont Association glanced over the mountains 
into the fold of the Woodstock Association, once troubled because 
of Elder Aaron Leland's interest in civil affairs, and once on ac- 
count of the departure from orthodoxy of Elders Manning and 
Higbee. In the first instance, failing to take all the preliminary 
steps, their complaint was tabled, and in the second it led to action 
on the part of the sister Association with good results. 

A difference of sentiment grew up in the Association on the 
subject of Freemasonry. Some wished to act upon the subject and 
others refused to, in the capacity of an association. The feeling be- 
came strong and, in 1833, several of the churches asked and received 
dismission to form the Addison Association. Other churches in 
Addison County soon connected themselves with the new body, 
leaving the Vermont Association at half its former size. In 1835, it 
numbered fourteen churches, and one thousand one hundred and 
seventy-eight members. 

In 1851, the Vermont Association made overtures to the Ad- 
dison Association, proposing a reunion of the two organizations, 
and for a time the prospect of this reunion was encouraging. A joint 
meeting was held at Brandon, in 1852, but the parties failed to 
agree on a basis of union. About the same time the Shaftsbury As- 
sociation invited the Vermont Association to unite wnth them, and 
the invitation was cheerfully accepted and the two bodies, in 1855, 
united under the name of The Vermont and Shaftsbury Associa- 



76 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

tion. The minutes of the body were published under this name until 
1878, when it assumed the name, Shaftsbury Association — the 
dates of the origin of the two united bodies being printed under the 
name on the title page, thus preserving the historical connection. 

At the time of the union this Association consisted of ten 
churches: Brandon, Hubbardton, Hydeville, Ira, Middletown, 
Pittsford, Poultney, Rutland, Wallingiord, Westhaven. Total 
membership, seven hundred and seventy-five. 

The Shaftsbury Association gave to this union five churches: 
The first Bennington, second Bennington, first Hoosick, N. Y., Man- 
chester, Shaftsbury; five pastors and five hundred and ninety -four 
members. Total membership of the union, one thousand three 
hundred and sixty-nine. 

Concerning the ministers in the early period and even in later 
ones who founded and developed the Baptist churches in Vermont, 
the words of an old chronicler are true: "Few, if any of them, had 
received a liberal education, but they were men of strong minds, 
ardent piety, sound judgment, firm fiith and untiring zeal. Their 
courage was unflinching and they were distinguished for great 
soundness in the doctrines of the Gospel. They were close students 
of the Bible, men of one book. They believed in what they preached 
and those that heard them believed that they believed it. They 
were chosen vessels, — apostles, on whom a necessity had been laid 
to preach the Gospel. To other natural and spiritual qualifications, 
there were added great physical constitutions. And thus furnished, 
they did the Master's work in heat and cold, by day and by night, 
threading the wilderness by marked trees, swimming the rivers, ex- 
posed to rain and snow, often with no guide and at the peril of 
their lives. And they were everywhere welcomed. The scattered 
settlers hungered for the bread of life, and these men dispensed it 
with great hearts and liberal hands. They had sought the wilder- 
ness for this very purpose, not called to the pastorates of churches, — 
not expecting settlements, not to live upon the people, but to pleach 
the Gospel and to win souls. Even where they settled and became 
pastors, they had no salaries; they lived by the labor of their own 
hands. They took up farms, felled trees, rolled logs, made potash, 
put in seed and gathered the grateful harvests, and they were as 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 77 

good farmers as they were ministers. In short, they were great men, 
and God blessed their labors, giving them good success." (Conven- 
tion Hist. Add., 1875). 

A vivid conception of an associational gathering in the e irly 
days calls for an exercise of imagination, assisted by something be- 
sides the formal minutes of the body. These anniversaries involved 
long journeys over bad mountainous roads. The hospitality of the 
entertaining churches were heavily taxed, though the burden was 
most cheerfully borne. Their accommodations were not ample and 
the delegates had to make the best of what they could find. Beds 
were made up on the floor and the men were sometimes compelled 
to sleep in the pews in the meeting-house. It was on one of these 
occasions that Elder Leland, who was a very fleshy man, snored 
loudly. One nervous minister, unable to sleep on account of Le- 
land's snoring, bore his trial as long as he could, and then, standing 
up full length in the pew he called out, "Elder Leland, Elder Leland, 
the glory of your no.strils is terrible." 

But the serious features of these gatherings were far more in 
evidence than the mirthful. They were often genuinely evange- 
listic, the massing of the spiritual forces of the body upon the com- 
munity where the association was held. A notice of the ^'ermont 
Association published in the Vermont TelegTaph in 1829 is sugges- 
tive of the evangelistic motive of an Association. The Association 
was to be holden in the new meeting-house in Bridport the first 
Thursday in June, and this was the call : 

"The churches are requested to send active lay brethren to 
visit from house to house and hold meetings in different parts of the 
town on Wednesday preceding the Association. Brethren from 
Shoreham will be received and conducted in visiting by Dea. S. 
Converse; from Crown Point, by Bro. Frost and Bro. Wilcox; 
from Moriah, by Breth. Hiram Smith and J. C. Eldrige; from 
Panton and Ferrisburg, by Bro. Luther Smith; from Addison, by 
Bro. Hinds. Breth from Weybridge will visit in the northeast 
neighborhood, and call on Cap. W, Cory for entertainment and 
from Cornwall on Bro. W^m. Baldwin; from other churches will 
be directed by myself when they arri^■e. 

Jonathan Morriam." 



78 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

This was, doubtless, a quarterly meeting of the Association as 
the regular session of the body was held in October that year at 
Rutland. It is interesting to turn to the statistical table of the 
Association and to find reported the next year twenty-two baptisms 
in the Brid})ort church. One can hardly refrain from connecting in 
thought the meeting in June, 1828, with the cheering report in 
1830. 



Chapter VI 
MANCHESTER ASSOCIATION 

It was with the Manchester church that the Vermont Baptist 
Association was organized in Elder Cornell 's barn in 1785. For some 
ten years this church remained a member of the Association it had 
been so influential in forming. By this time the Vermont Associa- 
tion had enlarged its borders far to the north, embracing the 
churches of Orwell and Shoreham sixty miles away, leaving Man- 
chester on the extreme southern limit. From their distance from 
the center of this body, and from their own depressed condition for 
years after Elder Cornell's removal, as well as on account of the 
distracted condition of the Association, they were discouraged, and 
failing to represent themselves were left off the minutes, and re- 
mained unassociated until 1818, when in the same barn where the 
Vermont Association had been organized, a new Association was 
formed under the name of The Manchester Association. The 
churches uniting with this body were: Arlington, Manchester, 
Dorset, Londonderry, Hebron, Rupert, and Winhall; Pawlet, and 
Wallingford afterward joined it. The largest number of members 
in this body at any time was six hundred and eighty. The prin- 
cipal ministers were Rev. C. M. Fuller, P. \Y. Reynolds, C. Cham- 
berlain and I. Beals. 

Those who planned the organization hoped to have miited all 
the churches from the Green Mountains on the east, to the Hudson 
River on the west, and from Arlington and Salem on the south, to 
Wallingford and Whitehall on the north, l)ut the formation of the 
Washington Association in 1827 prevented the accomplishment of 
this purpose. The Association was dissolved in 1829 or 1830. 
Some of the churches have become extinct: Arlington, Dorset, 
Winhall, Hebron and Rupert. The others united with the Associa- 
tions contiguous to them. 



Chapter VII 

OTHER CHURCHES OF THE SHAFTSBURY AND 
VERMONT ASSOCIATIONS 

Manchester 

In 1781, a church was organized in Manchester by Elder 
Nathan Mason, and other brethren present, from the church in 
Lanesboro, Mass. Many of the early settlers of this town were 
from the Baptist colony that had come up a few years before from 
Rhode Island and south-eastern Massachusetts. At the same time 
Elder Joseph Cornell was elected pastor of the church, a position 
which he held for fourteen years. He came to Manchester by invita- 
tion the year preceding, immediately after his ordination in Lan- 
singburgh. He was born in Swansea in 1747. He entered into his 
ministry with a heart full of missionary ardor, and success attended 
his labors. His barn served for a time as meeting-house. The habits 
and manners of Elder Cornell were peculiarly adapted to his times. 
His ardent evangelistic and missionary spirit made Manchester for 
him the center from which his influence went out in every direction. 

The Manchester church united with the Shaftsbury Associa- 
tion in 1784, but never met again with that body, it is presumed, for 
forty -five years or more; because in 1785 the Vermont Association 
was formed in Elder Cornell's barn to which this church became 
connected and remained some ten years, when discouraged and 
failing to report to the Association it was dropjjed from the roll, 
and never reunited with any other body till 1818, when the Man- 
chester Association was organized, embracing a few adjacent 
churches that held together in an associated body till about 1830. 
Many of those who resided in town when Elder Cornell settled in it 
were transient settlers, gathered there as a post of safety during the 
troublous scenes of the war of the Revolution, who at its close re- 



8^2 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

moved elsewhere, so that the church suffered diminution of num- 
bers and strength. Its reduced condition was the reason assigned 
by Elder Cornell in asking for his release from the pastorate. 

Calvin Chamberlain, who came from Brandon and took charge 
of this church in April, 1801, was the second pastor. During his 
ministry of twenty-two years there was a succession of gracious 
revivals. Elder John R. Dodge was associated w^ith Chamberlain 
as assistant pastor two years. Chamberlain did not wholly resign 
charge of the church till his death. In his last days he was permitted 
to see the salvation of God among his beloved people. In the fall 
of 1824, from September to December, a revival was enjoyed which 
brought some twenty-five into the church who were baptized by 
Elder Dodge. With such influences around him Elder Chamberlain 
passed away. He died November, 1824. Mr. Dodge w^as succeeded 
in the spring of 1825 by Elder P. W. Reynolds who, after a four 
years' successful pastorate, resigned, he having embraced the views 
of Alexander Campbell. The church labored for months to reclaim 
him, called a council for advice, but to no purpose. Finally in De- 
cember, 1829, they withdrew their fellowship from him. He, with 
ten or fifteen others from the church, set up a counter interest 
which existed many years. Moses Field was chosen fifth pastor, 
and before the first year of his ministrj^ had closed thirty were 
added to the church. Two years later a brick meeting-house w^as 
erected at Factory Point, a most promising part of the village. 
Silas Kennedy was the sixth pastor, remaining two and a half 
years. Dexter P. Smith was the seventh, 1838-1839. Assisted by 
Elder William Grant, in a series of meetings in the busy month of 
July, he was permitted to gather some fifty souls into the church. 
For a week or two baptisms occurred almost daily, and in that one 
month about forty were buried with Christ. At the close of this 
pastorate the membership was one hundred and twenty-six. D. W. 
Burroughs, Harvey I. Parker, G. S. Stockwell, Winthrop Morse and 
Stephen Wright, served short pastorates. From the death of Elder 
Chamberlain the length of the succeeding pastorates averaged 
about three years. 

T. H. Archibald was pastor two years, 1854-1856, George 
Carpenter one, 1857. Then A. M. Swan led the church on a pros- 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 83 

perous course, serving five years, 1858-1868. At this time the 
church reached its highest mark in the number of members and 
apparent prosperity. In 1860 it reported to the Association as fol- 
lows: "We have received accessions every communion but one 
for thirty-two months, during which time one hundred and forty- 
seven have united." The total membership became two hundred 
and twenty-six in 1863. From that time the changes in pastors 
have been frequent and the membership declining. The list of pas- 
tors is as follows: O. C. Kirkham, E. B. Hurlbert, C. J. Butler, 
W. S. Blaisdell, D. F. Estes, T. H. Archibald, J. A. Swart, E. E. 
Brown, Herbert Probert, O. F. Waltze, J. A. Swart, J. N. Latter- 
mer, D. R. Watson, J. S. Brown, H. S. McCready, E. M. Fuller, 
F. S. Clark. Membership, seventy-nine in 1912. 

Ira 

Several families were settled within the present limits of the 
town of Ira before the Revolutionary^ war, whose religious sympa- 
thies were with the Baptists. The to\\ii was organized in 1779, but 
there was no church organization until 1783. The organization was 
effected through the labors of Rev. Thomas Skeels, who had 
preached occasionally for eight years, and with a few believers as 
the constituent membership, he accepted the pastorate of the in- 
fant church. The pastorate of Mr. Skeels was very brief. He left 
in the spring of 1785, leaving a membership of some fifty -three, 
showing that his labors were a})undantly blessed for so large a num- 
ber in proportion to the population to be added to the church. The 
church was supplied occasionally by Rev. Henry Green of Walling- 
ford. Rev. Aniasa Brown was settled as pastor on February 13, 
1786, and dismissed at his owti request. May 29, 1788. Deacon 
Reiiben Baker was then licensed to preach, and continued to min- 
ister to the church several years, but was not ordained. Rev. 
Thomas Skeels was then recalled November 15, 1791, and was set- 
tled on a salary of seventy -five pounds. In ohe year, however, he 
was called to his reward. He died in the triumphs of faith and his 
body rests in the village graveyard, surrounded by those among 
whom he labored. 



84 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

For several years after the death of Elder Skeels the church 
was without stated preaching, save by occasional supplies, until 
December 31, 1801, when Rev. Joseph Carpenter was ordained 
pastor, and he divided his labor between his farm work and preach- 
ing on the Sabbath and from house to house until 1812, during 
which time a gracious revival commenced and continued, reaching 
with its blessed influence into adjoining towTis, until two hundred 
and twenty -five souls were added to the church. On the 18th of 
June, 1812, a branch was set off and formed a church at West 
Clarendon. In 1813, Rev. Leland Howard became a member of the 
church and served them till November 15th, when, at his own re- 
quest, he was dismissed. The same autumn Rev. William McCuller 
became pastor, who is reported as being thoroughly doctrinal in his 
sermons, and whose labors appear to have been very acceptable. 
A revival of most interesting character occurred during his min- 
istry, which signally changed the character of the inhabitants of 
the town; about forty persons, all of them heads of families, hus- 
bands and wives, were received into the church by baptism, by which 
it was greatly strenghened. In the autumn of 1819, McCuller re- 
signed, and the church was dependent upon supplies until July 10, 
1822, when Rev. Lyman Glazier was ordained as pastor. He is re- 
ported as being a man of excellent spirit. He continued his work 
till his death in 1825. In the fall of 1825 John Peck became pastor 
and continued two years. Artemas Arnold followed with a two 
years' pastorate. February 15, 1832, Joseph Packer was ordained 
an evangelist and preached as a supply for about four years. In the 
month of March previous to Mr. Packer's coming to them, the 
church collected together for prayer and supplication to God for 
an outpouring of His Spirit, and a great awakening followed as a 
result, and Brother Packer found them enjoying a most powerful 
revival which continued under his ministry until he was permitted 
to baptize more than one hundred persons, mostly in middle life 
and heads of families. The departure of Brother Packer occurred in 
1836, and the church was again dependent upon supplies from 
abroad, Rev. John Peck supplying most of the time. Rev. John 
Cannon was engaged for one year, and then John Peck again oc- 
cupied the pulpit till May 1, 1838, when Rev. Elias Hurlbut was 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 85 

settled, and during his ministry another gracious refreshing is re- 
corded, as the result about thirty persons were added to the church. 
Rev. Jacob P. Huntington, Frederick Page, and Levi Smith served 
brief pastorates between 1842 and 1844. Rev. Norman Clark was 
called and entered upon a fruitful pastorate of seven years. Warren 
Mason was pastor from April 1, 1863, till March, 1865, He was 
ordained November 18, 1863. 

In April following. Rev. C. P. Frenyear was invited to supply 
until November, at the expiration of which time he accepted a call 
to the pastorate. In January, 1866, it was voted to observe "The 
World 's Prayer meeting, " which occurred during the coldest period 
that had been known for many years. In consequence of this but 
few assembled for prayer, but the blessed promise was fulfilled in 
their experience. The prayers of the few were heard, the divine 
presence was experienced, and the influence of the meetings per- 
meated the whole church like leaven in the meal till all were filled 
with the spirit of prayer and earnest zeal. For five weeks the meet- 
ings were sustained, the pastor having secured the assistance of 
Elder Coon. Baptisms were frequent, and the spirit of giving was 
quickened, as their annual reports showed. Mr. Frenyear closed 
his work here on the first of November,1867. Edward Ashton, L. Kin- 
ney and O. C. Sargent, followed with brief terms of ser\ice. Rev. 
C. Blaisdell served from April, 1875, till May, 1878. Rev. W. R. 
W^arner was then installed. The minutes speak of the 26th of 
May, (only a few days after the installation of Brother Warner) 
as a day long to be remembered by the church. On this day twenty 
persons, mostly young people, were united to Christ by baptism. 
"While the lightnings flashed over their heads, and the loud peals 
of thunder rent the air, and the rain fell in copious showers, they 
went down into the water with their hearts full of the love of 
Christ." "Perfect love casteth out fear." Early in the autumn 
following, })y invitation of the pastor, the Rev. Dwight Spencer, 
then of Fair Haven, came and commenced a scries of meetings, 
which interested several outside of the church, and also awakened 
much serious anxiety and prayerfulness in the minds and hearts of 
christians. 



86 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

His searching and powerful sermons were succeeded by the 
exhaustive and eloquent appeals of the Rev. M. Burnham, the 
evangelist. Very material aid was rendered by the Rev. J. K. Rich- 
ardson of Rutland. Baptisms are reported as follows: December 
1, ten; December 8, twelve; December 15, seven; December 
22, eight, making thirty-six that month. On the first of June, fol- 
lowing, five more received the rite under peculiarly happy circum- 
stances. A long drouth had prevailed for several weeks and vegeta- 
tion was suffering. Everything was parched and dry. After the 
baptismal service, while the pastor was giving the hand of fellow- 
ship previous to administering the Lord 's Supper, a heavy rain was 
filling up the streams and refreshmg the earth, symbolizing their 
own experience. 

Mr. Warner's pastorate ended October 27th, 1880. During 
the following nine months, in the interim between pastors,the church 
sustained services every Sunday, one of the deacons reading a ser- 
mon; three prayer meetings were held every week and well sus- 
tained. Rev. John B. Lewis took up the work April 24th, 1881. 
The membership of the church at this time was one hundred and 
twenty-one. It will he observed that no dissensions or church 
troubles have been reported in this sketch of the church's history. 
As a matter of fact the records are almost entirely free from these 
painful experiences. Doul^tless, differences have arisen and de- 
linquencies among the membership have occurred, and the hand of 
fellowship has had to be withdrawn from some, but the spirit of love 
seems to have characterized even these sad chapters of the church 's 
history. 

The list of pastors from 1888 to 1912 is as follows: W. M. 
Hitchcock, 1888-1891; William Wyeth, 1893-1894; George H. 
Watt, 1895; C. A. Johnson, 1897-1898; B. A. Schurke, 1899-1900; 
Thomas Davison, 1901-1903; T. Ellis Jones, 1904-1906; Leonard 
Aldrich, 1907-1908; G. A. Littlefield, 1909; Thomas Adams, 1910. 

MiDDLETOWN 

The Baptist church in Middletown was formed in 1784. From 
about 1790 to 1802 it was a large church and embraced in its com- 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IX VERMONT 87 

munion members residing in the towii of Wells, Pouitney, Tin- 
mouth and Ira. In 1802, residents in Pouitney, thirty-four or thirty- 
five in number, withdrew and formed a church in that to\\Ti. In 
the first meeting of which we have any record, Caleb Smith was 
elected moderator and Thomas McClure, clerk. Caleb Smith ap- 
pears to have been the leading man from that time until his death, 
November 10, 1803. He usually acted as moderator in the absence 
of the pastor and was the first deacon. He was not a noisy man, but 
undoubtedly an efficient worker, laying the foundations of the 
institutions in the settlement. Among the first members of this 
church were Caleb Smith, Thomas McClure, John Sunderland, 
Gamaliel Waldo, Hezekiah Mallarj', Daniel Ford, Asher Blunt, 
David Wood, Ephraim Foster, Josiah Johnson, Nathan Walton 
and Jonathan Haynes. Jonathan Haynes was early elected deacon 
but did not accept the office for the reason probably of his physical 
infirmities, occasioned by a terrible wound he received in Ben- 
nington, 1777. He was a useful man in the church while he lived, 
held many important positions and was regarded as a sincere, ar- 
dent and devoted christian. Daniel Ford, a good christian man, the 
father of Nathan Ford, and grandfather of Joel Ford, was elected 
deacon to supply the place to which Mr. Haynes was elected. 
Gamaliel Waldo, one of those decided, stern, resolute men, who was 
not to be moved by any outside influence, was another efficient mem- 
ber. And this was to a great extent the character of nearly all the 
early members of both this and the Congregational church. Both 
churches were formed at a time and under circumstances that we 
should hardly sujjpose would have admitted of prosperity, but they 
at once sprang into life and activity, and perhaps were as successful 
in the first year of their existence as they have ever been since in the 
same period of time. The Baptist church was without a pastor till 
1790, during which time Rev. Hezekiah Eastman seems to have 
administered at communion seasons and performed the rite of bap- 
tism. 

Rev. Sylvanus Haynes, of Provincetown, Mass., was ordained 
pastor August 30, 1790, and remained in office twenty-seven years. 
The Baptist Society bought a piece of land for him of Captain 
Joseph Spaulding, and Mr. Haynes commenced living on it in a log 



«» HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

house. Besides attending to his ministerial duties he did a good deal 
of work on his land. The church prospered under the ministry of 
Mr. Haynes. He was a faithful minister, author of several religious 
works, which at the time gave him a good reputation as a writer in 
his denomination. He preached the election sermon before the 
Legislature of Vermont, in October, 1809, which sermon was printed 
by vote of the Legislature. To Mr. Haynes belongs the honor not 
only of being the first settled minister of the Baptist church here, 
but the first minister settled in Middletown. He preached in log 
meeting-houses and private houses until what has been known as 
the Congregational house was completed in 1790, when he preached 
in that until the Baptist house was built in 1806. 

Rev. Seth Ewens supplied the church about two years. Rev. 
Isaac Bucklin was pastor, 1821-1828. Rev. Mr. Fuller, Rev. Linus 
J. Reynolds, and Rev. G. B. Day each preached here between 1828 
and 1832. Rev. Mr. Day was ordained here. He was a very zealous 
man and was here during the revival of 1831. In one day, Septem- 
ber, 1831, there were thirty-six persons baptized and received into 
the church. Rev. Mr. Soullard was pastor three years and went to 
Pawlet sometime in 1837. Rev. E. B. Bullard was pastor from 1839 
to 1841. He was a well educated and a very devoted man. After 
leaving here he went to Burma and died there. Robert Meyers fol- 
lowed with a four years' pastorate! Rev. R. O. Dwyer came in 
1846 and remained about three years. He removed to a place near 
Saratoga, N. Y., became a chaplain in one of the New York regi- 
ments, and died in the service of his country. His only son was a 
soldier in the same regiment and was killed in battle about the time 
of his father's death. 

J. M. Smith was pastor, 1848-1850. J. J. Peck followed two or 
three years. Rev. Berriah Leach, a native of the to-«ni, officiated 
five years, followed by Cyprian Frenyear and Thomas Tobin. 

In recent years there have been a succession of very brief pas- 
torates with few accessions. Intervals between pastorates have 
been seasons of depression. With the coming of each new pastor 
hopes have revived. A few years have been marked by special 
tokens of grace, as in 1890, when twenty-eight were received by bap- 
tism and five by letter, the fruitage of special meetings under the 




C. A. Thomas, D. D. 

tor of Haptist Church in Brandon 18.'?() — 1875 
Born, 1800— Died, 188!) 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 89 

lead of State Missionary, A. McGeorge. In 1898, ten new members 
were added. Sunday schools and cottage prayer meetings have 
been sustained. 

Total membership in 1911, fifty. Resident membershij), 
thirty-six. 

Brandon 

The Baptist church in Brandon was constituted in 1785, the 
year following that on which the touni received the name which it 
bears. The towii was chartered by the name of NesJiobe, October 
20, 1762; its name was changed to Brandon October 20, 1784. The 
original members, so far as can be ascertained, were twelve in 
number, as follows: Nathaniel Sheldon, Noah Strong, Elizabeth 
Strong, Solomon Tuttle, John Mott, Mary Mott, Nathaniel Welch, 
Peter Whalen, Elizabeth Whalen, Thomas Tuttle, Deborah Tuttle, 
Thomas Tuttle, Jr. For several years the church was without a 
settled pastor or a house of worship. The dwellings of Nathaniel 
Sheldon and Solomon Soper were often the church's sanctuary. 
Accessions were made from time to time. The church, while desti- 
tute of a pastor, was supplied occasionally by neighboring pastors 
as Elnathan Phelps, Henry Greene, Isaac Beals, Elisha Rich, Eph- 
raim Sawyer, Nathan Dana, Hezekiah Eastman, and Isaac Fuller. 

In 1789, Mr. Isaac Webb, who had been employed as a licen- 
tiate preacher, was called to ordination. The terms of his settle- 
ment were "one hundred pounds settlement in lands, and thirty -five 
pounds for the first year, and to rise five pounds a year till it 
amounts to sixty pounds, which is to be his stated yearly salary." 
Mr. Webb was ordained September 25th, 1789. Caleb Blood 
preached the ordination sermon, Isaac Beals gave charge, and 
Henry Greene the hand of fellowshij). 

Mr. Webb was the first settled pastor in town. The Congrega- 
tional church, however, was the earlier in date of organization, 
and on that account the ministerial lands were equally divided be- 
tween the two denominations most amicably. 



90 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

During the first fifty years of its history the church had eleven 
pastors. During the next fifty years it had three pastors. 

A log meeting-house was built in 1790, which was occupied 
ten years, when a new edifice was erected which served till 1835, 
when the present church edifice was dedicated. 

Isaac Webb, the first pastor, was succeeded by Calvin Cham- 
berlain, who was ordained here, and had a prosperous pastorate of 
five years. In 1795, Jonathan Merriam came from Ashburnham, 
Mass., and was followed by his brother-in-law, John Conant. 
These two men became eminently influential and helpful in the 
church. Mr. Merriam was appointed deacon in 1806, and died in 
1826, aged sixty-two years. John Conant was chosen deacon in 
18'26, and died in 1856, aged eighty-three. He was a man of great 
decision and energy of character; nothing was too difficult for him. 
The present meeting-house was built under his supervision and 
labor. Few works of improvement in the village of Brandon were 
undertaken during his active life but received his approbation 
and aid. 

This church has been specially observant of its members who 
were inclined to the gospel ministry and gave promise of usefulness 
in the work. Of this class were: Thomas Tuttle, Jr., Isaac Merriam, 
Jonathan Merriam, Jr., Reuben Sawyer, David Hendee, Cyrus 
Hodges, Conant Sawyer, Warham Walker, Isaac Sawyer, Nathan 
Brown, A. H. Stowell, B. F. Burr, Leland Huntley, C. B. Smith, 
Mylon Merriam, George W. Stockwell, Alvah Hovey, Cyrus 
Thomas and Edward J. McKenna. 

Accessions to membership have been made for the most part 
little by little, but there have been seasons of general revival. In 
1836, fifty-seven persons were received by baptism and letter; in 
1839, forty-four; in 1842, sixteen; in 1850, fourteen; in 1854, six- 
teen; in 1857, eighteen; in 1865, eighteen; in 1866, eighteen; in 
1869, twenty-one; in 1875, twenty-four; and in 1878, thirty-nine, 
following the meetings of evangelist Earle, and in 1884, under the 
pastorate of D. E. Post, and following the meetings of Evangelist 
Bennett, thirty were added. 

The most notable pastorate in the history of this church was 
that of Cornelius A. Thomas, continuing forty years. The other 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 91 

pastors and their terms of service have been as follows: Calvin 
Chamberlain, five years; Ithiel Peck, two; Moses Ware, two; 
Joshua Young, three; Abiel Fisher, two; Elisha Starkwether, two; 
Isaac Sawyer, six; Joseph W. Sawyer, three; William Hutchinson, 
two; George B. Ide, two. Eleven pastors during the first fifty years 
of the church's history. The successors of Mr. Thomas have been, 
David R. Watson, five years; B. E. Post, five; E. A. Herring, ten; 
J. J. Townshend, five; E. M. Bartlett, six; George Pomfrey, one; 
C. A. Nutting, one; C. W. Turner. 

Benson 

This church was constituted in 1797. Elder Abel Woods was 
principally instrumental in its organization. During the first year 
it increased from fourteen to thirty-nine members. In 1805, it re- 
ported fifty-nine communicants. After this no mention of this 
church is found in the minutes for several years. Nothing of special 
interest is recorded imtil 1823, when Elder John Carter and a large 
part of the members were deprived of their standing, in conse- 
quence of a change of sentiment. This was a gTeat stroke to the 
church. Yet it struggled along till 1834 and then discontinued its 
meetings. In 1840, under the labors of Elder Henry Allen, it re- 
vived again, several additions were made by baptism and it again 
was in fellowship with the Association. In 1843, it reported sixty- 
five communicants. It then ceased to make returns. 

Dorset 

A small church was organized here in 1796, by Elder Corpse. 
John Howard became pastor for three years. When he left the 
church numbered fifteen. It continued happy and united and oc- 
casionally enjoying supplies for a number of years. In 1804, it built 
a meeting-house. The church was rather low from this time till 
1814, when it enjoyed for two years the labors of Horace Griswold, 
received some additions, and was encouraged to hope and pray for 
greater blessings. The blessings came. A considerable quickening 
and increase was experienced under the labors of Rev. C. M. Fuller. 



92 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IX VERMONT 

The church increased to sixty. After this it began to decHne and 
though it enjoyed at different times suppUes for longer or shorter 
periods, it continued to go down and became extinct. 

A second church was organized in the center of the town about 
the year, 1808, comprising about twenty members. For a time it 
bid fair to become a useful church, but it soon dwindled and became 
extinct. 

East Hubbardton 

Organized in 1787, as a branch of the Manchester church. 
The first preaching was by Abel Woods in the spring of 1785. 
A few were converted under his labors. From this time meetings 
were held regularly on the Sabbaths, in a log barn in summer, 
and in a log house in the winter, until a schoolhouse was built 
in 1786. Elders Cornell and Skeels furnished occasional sup- 
plies for several years. In the meantime the church had been 
organized as an independent body and several members had been 
added till in 1788 they numbered twenty-four. The following ten 
years were years of darkness and declension. Elder Nathan Dana 
was pastor ten years, then Elder Stark one year, when Elder Dana 
returned and lived in tovm till 1816. His second connection was not 
attended with the happiest results. In November, 1816, Joseph 
Sawyer was ordained as pastor. A revival followed, resulting in the 
conversion of many and the healing of difficulties in the church. 
During the ministry of Mr. Sawyer about sixty were added to the 
church. He was succeeded by Abel Woods, who labored with con- 
siderable success till 1826. A second season of exceeding darkness 
and declension now ensued for several years, during part of which 
the meetings of the church were suspended. In February, 1830, a 
short time after the church had given up their meetings in de- 
spondency, a few brethren were coming together and mourning 
over the low estate of Zion. They concluded at length to give 
notice of a meeting in which the members might come together and 
stir each other up. The meeting occurred on the usual Covenant 
meeting day. Five members only were present and two of the 
neighboring women, one of them an Irish woman. Gloom and sad- 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 93 

ness brooded over the meeting though the time was spent in prayer 
and a free exchange of feeling in view of the low state of Zion. Just 
before the members were about to depart in sadness it occurred 
to someone that possibly one of the visiting women might like to 
say a word. Opportunity was given. To the great surprise of all, 
the Irish woman rose and related a christian experience full of 
thrilling interest. She had never heard an experience nor witnessed 
a baptism, but had read of both in the Scriptures and wished her- 
self to be baptized. The other woman then arose and related a 
satisfactory experience and closed with a request for baptism. The 
brethren were melted to tears, and the tokens of the Lord's pres- 
ence so unexpected and so overpowering were followed, as might 
l)e expected, by other and delightful proofs of his power and y,\i\\- 
ingness to save. Notice was circulated of another meeting on the 
week following. A minister. Elder Reynolds, was sent for to preach 
and baptize, and no small stir was awakened. The ice had to be cut 
away before the baptism could be administered, and during the 
ordinance there was a visible convulsion among the crowd. The 
power of the Spirit was manifest and many were brought under 
conviction. The work became general throughout the towai, and ex- 
tended into neighboring towns. Other denominations shared in it, 
and its influence was felt through the year until into the next sea- 
son. As a part of the fruit sixty -four were baptized and added to 
the church. The labors of Elder Isaac Fuller were greatly blessed 
in carrying forward the revival. In the course of the history of this 
church up to 1845, there were eight .seasons of revival, as the fruit 
of which two hundred and twenty were gathered into the church. 
Up to that time it had received into its membership three hundred 
and sixty-seven and numbered sixty-one. 

In 1853, Elder B. Allan became pastor. The next year the 
meeting-house was remodelled at a cost of $850. Meetings were held 
alternately at Hortonville and East Street. Allan 's pastorate con- 
tinued thirteen years. x\fter a year interval. Elder Zenas Jones be- 
came j)astor and served with fidelity till his death, fourteen years 
later. The death of this good pastor was a heavy blow to the little 
church he had so faithfully shepherded so many years. In 1893, 
students from Troy Academy awakened a deep iiiterest, and on the 



94 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

26th of November, seventeen were l)aptized, mostly young 
people. In 1896, J. E. Nye, a licentiate of the church in Georgia 
Plain, became interested in this little flock, and began ministering 
to them on the Sabbaths and returning to his farm in Georgia dur- 
ing the week. His work was greatly blessed. He won the hearts of 
the people and was ordained by the church as pastor. For sixteen 
years this relation has been sustained, Mr. Nye giving as much of 
his time as possible to the church while still following his occupa- 
tion -as farmer in Georgia. Throughout its history the church has 
been often depleted by removals and deaths, but for the most part 
has manifested remarkable hopefulness and vitality. 

Rev. Henry S. Archibald, in his report as secretary of the 
Board of Trustees of the Convention in 1895, said : " An illustration 
of the work that many, perhaps most, of our Vermont churches are 
called to do, is afforded by the church at East Hubbardton. Here, 
where the servants of God for more than a century have toiled, 
whence almost sixty years ago Brayton went forth for a forty and 
more years of service on the foreign field, a little more than two 
years ago God was pleased to reveal himself to the handful in his 
mighty power to save. Seventeen were then added to the church 
by baptism. Of that seventeen, ten have already removed to other 
fields to do service for the Lord. To this little band it falls to sow 
the seed, gather now and then the sheaves that look to promise re- 
sults more to be desired than much fine gold, and tlien it is taken 
from them to become seed sca^ttered upon a thousand fields that 
shall he in turn rich with choicest fruitage in heaven 's own day of 
reward and ingathering. " 

POULTNEY 

The first settlement of the town was commenced l)y Thomas 
Ashley and Ebenezer Allen, x4pril, 1771. The first Baptist that 
moved into town was Isaac Ashley, 1772, followed soon after by 
William Ward. They had both been baptized the year previous and 
united with the church in Canaan, Conn. In 1777, the inliabitants 
were all driven from their homes by the British and Indians. The 
next year they returned, and soon afterwards a number of persons 




Dka. K. M. HiXHV. I'oiillncy 

Mcinl..T.,f (•nMv..nlini. l?.Mnl 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 95 

were baptized at different times, till their number had increased to 
ten or twelve. The first persons baptized in town are supposed to 
be: Mrs. Thomas Ashley and Mrs. Nicholas Marshall. Elder 
Cornell was the administrator. Others soon followed, among whom 
were: John Ashley and Ichabod Marshall. 

This church was constituted two years after the Wallingford 
church, in 1782. William Ward was appointed its first deacon, 
which office he honorably and usefully held till the time of his death 
in 1818. The little church, consisting in its infancy of but ten or 
twelve members, united with the Congregational church in the 
support of preaching, the worship in the sanctuary, and in the 
observance of the Lord's Supper. Afterwards, in 1795, having 
come to doubt the propriety of commiming with unbaptized per- 
sons, they united as a branch with the Middletouai church, but still 
continued to sustain public worship with their Congregational 
brethren in Poultney. In 1801, they were set off from the Middle- 
towai church and duly recognized as an independent church. They 
soon after invited Clark Kendrick, who had been supplying the 
desk in Poultney, to become their pastor. Mr. Kendrick accepted 
and was ordained over them in 1802. A revival followed which re- 
sulted in the accession of about fifty members, some of whom were 
from the Congregational church. In 1804, the church numbered 
eighty-four members. Unhappily a misunderstanding arose be- 
tween the two churches in respect to the right to occupy the meet- 
ing-house. The result was the erection of a convenient house of 
worship of their own, and a very unpleasant state of feeling between 
the two churches for several years. But happily this feeling sul)- 
sidcd, and the two churches have long since been on friendly terms. 
During the twenty -two years of Elder Kendrick 's labors in Poult- 
ney the church was greatly blessed. The whole number added to 
the church under his ministry was two hundred and thirty-three, of 
which there were one hundred and fifty -five connected with the 
church at the time of his death in 1824. 

With the death of Elder Kendrick closed the second twenty 
years of the church 's history. In the next twenty years it witnessed 
more frequent changes in the pastoral relation, and yet a contin- 
uance of the gracious care of the covenant-keeping God. Under the 



96 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

labors of Pharcellus Church, Eh B. Smith, and others, the blessing 
of God was richly enjoj^ed and interesting revivals experienced 
in the years, 1825, 1830, 1834, 1838, and 1843. In all its seasons of 
refreshings the church must have received into its membership not 
less than four hundred persons. In 1845, the church numbered two 
hundred and thirty -one members. It sent out one of its members as 
a missionary to India. Elder Isaac Fuller, who had for a number of 
years been a member of this church, supplied its desk at different 
times to the satisfaction of his brethren and the edification of the 
church. He finished his pious and useful course in 1843, enjoying 
the confidence and esteem of all who knew him. 

In 1849, John Goadby became pastor, and led the church 
through some seasons of discouragement. His ten years ' ministry 
was blest to the church. In 1856, twenty-one were received to the 
church. During the last year of his ministry he was assisted by 
Rev. Thomas Cull, and thirty-three were added to the church. 
Wm. L. Palmer followed with a fruitful pastorate of six years. 

In 1867, came a crisis in the history of the church. The body 
which hitherto maintained its unity was divided. Two letters 
and two sets of delegates were sent to the Association and the 
matter of the difficulty was referred to a committee to examine and 
report upon at the next session. 

The committee reported in 1868, recommending on the 
ground of the nearly equal division of the church in Poultnej' and 
because of the vote to divide the church, that the Association re- 
ceive the letters and delegations of both sections as independent 
regular Baptist churches. The division was thus made permanent. 
The title to the property was aw^arded to the church at Depot 
Village. John Goadby was recalled to the church which retained 
the name Poultney, and Rev. Thomas Tobin was chosen pastor of 
the East Poultney church. Mr. Goadby officiated five years, Mr. 
Tobin, three. In 1873, J. A. Pierce became pastor of the Poultney 
church, and A. T. Dunn of the East Poultney church. That year 
both churches were blessed with a remarkable outpouring of the 
Spirit and sixty -five new members were added to the Poultney 
church and twenty-six to the East Poultney. The evangelistic im- 
pulse continued with the churches for several years, and additions 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 97 

were annuallj' made. Mr. Pierce continued pastor six years, and 
was followed by A. W. Jefferson in 1879; Mr. Dunn by D. Beecher, 
D. W. Palmer, and Thomas Tellier. The pastors of the Poultney 
church since 1881 have been F. Barnett, 1881-1884, H. H. Parry, 
1885-1889, R. H. Ferguson, 1891-1892, J. E. Bruce, 1893-1896, 
A. D. Clark, 1897-1902, I. E. Usher, 1902-1907, C. E.Ross, 1908. 
The church has prospered under these leaders and taken active in- 
terest in the work of the denomination and in all branches of mis- 
sion work. 

The East Poultney church has had the leadership of pastors 
C. E. Steams, C. J. Wilson, 1883-1884; J. B. Webster, 1887-1890; 
T. B. Webster, T. B. Mowrey, 1890-1893; W. V. Grattan, 1893, 
1895; J. E. Bruce, 1897; A. D. Clark, 1899-1901; I. E. Usher, 1902- 
1904; H. E. Webster, 1908. The membership of the Poultney 
church in 1912 was one hundred and sixty-five, of the East 
Poultney, fiftj'-one. 

The fact is worthy of record that one of the members, Mrs. 
Ichabod Marshall, an aged sister of this church, who died in 1837, 
at the advanced age of ninety -three years, had lived to see the whole 
hi.story of the church up to that time, and outlived all the original 
members. She was one of the first baptized, was one of the mem- 
l)ers when the church was first organized in 1782, and again in 1802, 
when it was set off from Middletown and had been a resident of the 
tovm sixty-two years, and there were known to be of her posterity, 
then living, three hundred and seventy persons, extending to the 
fifth generation. 

West Haven 

William Pattison, a licentiate from the church in Benson, 
preached in this towni in the course of the year, 1803, with manifest 
tokens of divine favor. Many were convicted of sin and gave evi- 
dence of conversion. In the month of December a church was or- 
ganized, consisting of sixteen members. The year following it 
came to number twenty-seven. Mr. Pattison continued his labors 
with this people till 1815, but was never ordained. A pleasing re- 
vival was enjoyed in 1816. The church continued to enjoy a meas- 



98 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

lire of prosperity under occasional preaching by Elders Isaac Saw- 
yer, John Stearns and Isaac Fuller. Elder Reuben Sawyer labored 
successfully with this people from 1823 to 1836. During his minis- 
try there were frequent manifestations of divine favor. In 1831, the 
church came to number sixty -one. After 1836, it was served by a 
number of ministers and reported several seasons of awakening and 
conversions. In 1845, it numbered fifty-one. Moses Field was then 
pastor. Mr. Field's pastorate continued till 1857, when his health 
failed, and he withdrew from the pastoral relation. He continued 
his residence in the town and his active interest in the church, sup- 
plying occasionally when there was need and his strength permitted. 
He returned to the pastorate in 1865, and continued till his death, in 
1870, a man of marked ability and fervent piety; a true shepherd 
to his people. 

A series of short pastorates followed: M. M. Mills, N. Clark, 
A. T. Dunn, E. D. Craft, J. A. Swart, ordained here January 24, 
1879; M. M. Mills, C. H. Eveleth, P. C. Dayfoot. For a season, 
after Mr. Dayfoot 's pastorate, the church was supplied by the 
pastors of the Fairhaven church, J. H. Lyon and A. E. Foot. 
In 1894, came a precious work of grace and thirty-eight were bap- 
tized. A. E. Foot then became pastor, 1895 to 1898, when H. M. 
Douglass began a long and pleasant pastorate, continuing till 1910, 
when he was succeeded by E. S. Greenleaf . The church attained a 
membership of seventy-seven in 1892. A purely rural church, its 
membership scattered, its young people removing from their native 
town, the population changing in character, this church has main- 
tained the means of grace and filled an important place in this 
community. 

Rutland 

As early as 1805, there was a Baptist church in Center Rutland, 
of thirty-five members. They held their meetings for the most part 
in the home of Allen Pooler. David Hurlbut was their minister and 
continued to labor with them till 1809, when he resigned, and for a 
time the church was without pastoral care. They enjoyed, how- 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 99 

ever, the occasional ministrations of Sylvanus Haynes of Middle- 
town, Clark Kendrick of Poultney, Elders McCuller, Sa\\yer, 
Harrington, and other itinerant ministers. In 1808, the church re- 
ported to the Vermont Association thirtj'-four members, and from 
that time the name of the Rutland church disappears from the 
minutes and early chroniclers say that in 1813 and 1814, })ecoming 
reduced in numbers by deaths and removals, the meetings were dis- 
continued and their organization broken up, the members uniting 
with neighboring churches. 

In 1818, several families of Baptists removed from Center Rut- 
land to Mill Village, now known as the Pooler District, and im- 
mediately commenced holding meetings at the house of Daniel 
Ford. These were mostly meetings for prayer and conference, with 
an occasional sermon by some itinerant minister. For five years 
this little band maintained the means of grace under adverse cir- 
cumstances. In 1823, they organized as a church of fifteen members. 

May 6, 1824, Elder Isaac Fuller was engaged to preach half 
the time, and served till December 2, 1826, when the church called 
Rev. Hadley Proctor of China, Maine, to the pastorate. His labors 
continued until 1834, years of earnest labor and gracious ingather- 
ing of souls. He was a good man, and faithfully led the flock of 
Christ. In 1834 and 1835, Rev. Samuel Eastman sup])lied the pul- 
pit, then Rev. Hadley Proctor returned to the pastorate, but after 
one brief year was recalled to (^hina, Maine, where he remained till 
his death. 

After the second remo\al of Elder Proctor, Rev. Daniel Has- 
kell, a venerated father in Israel, served the church during the year, 
1837, after which Rev. Arus Haynes, a graduate of Bro\\ni Uni\-er- 
sity, was called to the pastorate and ordained to his work January 
30, 1858, and enjoyed an unusually successful pastorate of two 
years, ninety persons l)eing added by baptism, and twenty-seven 
by letter and experience, being the greatest addition in any like 
period in the history of the church. He resigned in 1840, and the 
church was mthout a pastor until February 2, 1843, when Joseph 
M. Rockwood was ordained and settled, continuiiig his ministry 
till September, 1840, when he was dismissed. Rev. Ix'land Howard, 
of blessed memory% W'as next called to the pastorate, who was set- 



100 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

tied in 1852, and resigned in 1860. This pastorate was fruitful of 
much good, and the ingathering of many precious souls; the year, 
1858, being signally blessed in this respect. After his resignation 
Elder Howard continued to reside among the people, to whom he 
had ministered so faithfully and long, until his death, which oc- 
curred on the 5th of May, 1870. 

The next pastor was Rev. Francis Smith of Providence, R. I., 
May, 1860 to July 27, 1862. Pastor Smith was a good man and a 
faithful minister of Jesus Christ. He was succeeded by the Rev. 
J. C. Fernald of Cambridge, Mass., who was ordained pastor of the 
church, March 23, 1864. He remained with the church seventeen 
months, resigning September 2, 1865. Rev. O. Cunningham sup- 
plied the pulpit from November, 1865, to August 6, 1868. Novem- 
ber 1, 1868, Edward Mills commenced his labors, continuing till 
1875. 

During this pastorate the present house of worship was built. 
In 1827, a meeting-house was built, strictly in harmony wath the 
prevailing New England style, the pulpit placed high between the 
entrance doors, and the gallery extending along both sides of the 
house and across the east end. In 1852, this was remodelled and 
renovated, and made much more convenient and attractive. As 
the location of the house was in the center of the village at that time 
it was hoped that the foundations of it were permanently estab- 
lished, but in consequence of the rapid growth of the village, north 
and west of this location, a more central location was desirable, and 
after long and serious consideration it was determined to build, and 
on the 18th of July, 1871, the cornerstone was laid with becom- 
ing ceremony. February 1, 1872, the spacious vestries of the house 
were opened with appropriate services. Rev. Dwight Spencer of 
Fairhaven, preaching a sermon from Psalm 148: 11. 

The decade, 1873-1883, was an eventful one in the history of 
this church. In 1873, the assistance of Rev. A. B. Earle was secured 
in a series of evangelistic meetings in which the church heartily 
united. The results were occasion of great rejoicing. Among the 
converts were strong men and noble women, young men and women 
and children. Whole classes from the Sunday school and whole 
families from the homes gave themselves to Christ and the church. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 101 

Sixty-six were baptized and nine received by letter and experience. 
The ingathering continued under the pastorate of Rev. J. K. Rich- 
ardson, which commenced in 1875. Fifteen were added that year, 
forty -three the next, and twenty -three the next. Then came 
another remarkable revival. The church entered into union ser- 
vices under Evangelists Whittle, McGranahan and Whittier. Con- 
stant work was kept up for six months, and one hundred and thir- 
teen were received into the church, bringing its total membership 
to three hundred and eighty-nine. During the next three years 
there was evidence of reaction, and the church suffered the de- 
pression that attends disciplinary work, but strength had been 
gained to prune the vine without endangering its life. In other 
lines the church had put on strength. In September, 1873, it dedi- 
cated its new house of worship upon which some $40,000 had been 
expended. The field of its activities had been broadened by a mis- 
sion at North Clarendon, and by the organization of a branch at 
West Rutland in 1875. In 1879, the pastor had begun to publish 
the Vermont Baptist in the interests of the churches of the State. 
A Telugu preacher was receiving his support from this church and 
a Karen Bible woman, and a colored teacher in the South, were de- 
pendent on the ladies of this church. 

In 1883, Charles A. Reese began ministering to this people, 
and the church continued to prosper under his leadership. In 1885, 
the debt of $13,000 incurred in building the new house of worship 
was finally cancelled. In 1886, Evangelists Pratt iand Birdsall con- 
ducted special meetings which resulted in the addition of thirty- 
five members. In 1887, the roll was revived, eleven dismissed and 
sixteen excluded or dropped, bringing the total membership to 
three hundred and eighty -nine. In 1890, the weekly envelope sys- 
tem was adopted, and the conviction recorded that at least one- 
tenth of one 's income ought to be devoted to the Lord. In 1 891 , Rev. 
O. D. Thomas, evangelist, rendered effective service, and sixty were 
added to the membership, bringing the total number to four hun- 
dred and forty -six. Mr. Reese resigned this year and the i)astorate 
of Rev. Gibbs Brai.slin began. Mr. Braislin commended himself 
speedily to the people of the community, by his plain ])rea(liing, 
and his fearless position on the moral issues of the day, and large 



10^2 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

congregations attended his ministry. His work was educative and 
scriptiu-al. Substantial additions were made annually till 1899, 
when fifty-four were received, and an equal number the year fol- 
lowing, bringing the membership to five hundred and thirty -three. 
Five years later Dr. A. C. Dixon came to the assistance of the pas- 
tor and sixty-eight were received to membership that year, most 
of the converts coming from the Sunday school, which had been 
conducted with wisdom and energy by J. E. Tilson and W. R. 
Kinsman. During the years, 190'2-1904, some seventy-five new 
members had been received, without special evangelistic help. 

A mission near the fair grounds and the North Clarendon Mis- 
sion had been well sustained. At the close of Mr. Braislin 's pas- 
torate the church numbered five hundred and sixty-nine members. 
Mr. Braislin was honored with the degree of Doctor of Divinity by 
Brown University in 1905. 

Eugene Haines followed in the pastorate, and for four years had 
the privilege of welcoming upward of one hundred and twenty to 
the church. He was succeeded l^y F. W. Irving in 1910. The mem- 
bership of the church in 191'-2 was six hundred and twenty-nine. 
The Rutland church in infancy received the fostering care of the 
State Convention, receiving from its limited treasury sixty dollars 
annually during the years 1826-1829. For many years it has been 
a helper of the weak churches of ^^ermont, and of the cause of 
missions at home and abroad. 

Bennington 

This church had its liirth amid many difficulties, in 1827. A 
number of l)rethren, who were members of Ba})tist churches, had 
resided in the north and west parts of the town for some time. 
They were associated principally with the churches of Shaftsbury 
and Hoosick, N. Y. A]:»out 1825, several brethren became residents 
of what is now the ^•illage of Bennington, then known as East Ben- 
nington or Algiers. Among these were Isaiah Hendrix, Enoch 
Winslow and Aaron Grover. In the center village li^•ed Anthony 
Haswell, a half-brother of the devoted missionary to Burma, James 
Haswell. These l)rethren, far from church privileges, began to as- 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 103 

semble for worship. After a while neighboring pastors began to 
render help occasionally. The attendance upon religious services 
gaining, it was determined to form a church. On the 11th of April, 
a church was constituted and recognized by public services. In 
1828, Henry Baldwin became the first pastor. He was with the 
church till 1830. Under aV)le ministers the church increased in 
membership, till in 1842, it had a membership of two hundred and 
fifty-seven. Then came the Advent excitement. Miller was in- 
vited to speak in the church, and his influence wrought havoc in the 
flock. Surviving this critical period, the church has continued a 
prosperous course. Its pastors and their terms of service have been 
as follows : 

Henry F. Baldwin 1828-1830. 

Thomas Teasdale 1830-1832. 

Jeremiah Hall 1832 1835. 

Samuel B. Wilhs 1835-1836. 

Stephen Hutchins 1837-1841. 

W. W. Moore 1842-1843. 

Cyrus W. Hodges 1844-1849. 

Edward Conover. . . .• 1849-1852. 

A. Judson Chaphan 1853-1856. 

Warren Lincoln 1857-1861. 

E. B. Palmer 1861. .1862. 

W. S. Apsey 1862-1869. 

S. K. Dexter 1868-1870. 

R. M. Luther 1871-1880. 

George C. Baldwin, Jr 1881-1885. 

Z. Martin 1885-1893. 

A. McGeorge 1894-1895. 

George B. Lawson 1895-1901. 

Frank R. Morris 1901-1910. 

F. W. Meyer 1910 

In 1832, the temperance sentiment in the place was at a very 
low ebb. There was a large distillery in towni, ap])lcs were abun- 
dant; the juice was drunk like water; cider brandy was made and 
indulged in by church members, for the custom was not held in 



104 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

disrepute. Finally, there came a turn in the tide of public opinion. 
A stanch committee was formed in this church and a great tem- 
perance revival was the result. 

During the pastorate of Mr. Lincoln the church passed reso- 
lutions disapproving and discountenancing the amusement of 
dancing, and with christian love and affection earnestly recom- 
mending to its members to refrain from it. The reasons assigned 
were "that we regard the amusement of dancing as inconsistent 
w4th the christian profession, believing that it has a tendency to 
dissipate serious thoughts and unfit us to engage in the worship and 
service of God; that it tends to neutralize and destroy our influ- 
ence as Christians; that the spirit which accompanies the practice 
is a pleasure-loving and worldly spirit, and that it tends to hinder 
our growth in grace and thus endangers our spiritual interests. " 
In connection with these resolutions the church passed the follow- 
ing: "Resolved, that our pulpit is free to the pastor for the dis- 
cussion of all moral and religious subjects and that it is his right 
and privilege to present his views on such subjects without re- 
buke or hindrance from any member of the church. " 

Several revivals have been enjoyed, one of the most notable 
that of 1839, under the lead of Elder Knapp, the evangelist, when 
eighty were received by baptism and eighteen by letter and restora- 
tion. In 1842, and 1843 sixty-seven were added by baptism and 
twelve otherwise. During the years, 1857 and 1858, ninety-four 
were received to membership, seventy-seven of them by baptism. 
During the year of McGeorge's pastorate seventy-seven were re- 
ceived by baptism and twelve by letter. 

Z. Clark Martin's pastorate was one of the longest. The par- 
sonage was built at this time. 

The first meeting-house was erected in 1830 and was destroyed 
by fire in 1845. A new house of worship was erected two years 
later. Again in 1878, a new church edifice was built, which became 
too strait twenty-five years later and was enlarged and beautified, 
according to plans of Architect Bull, at a cost of $6,500.00. The 
addition provided for the Sunday school accommodations suited 
to the needs of the school. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 105 

The efforts of this church to secure a bell with an inviting 
voice furnishes a unique chapter in the history of Vermont Baptist 
churches. The first bell was hung in the fall of 1830. It was a dis- 
mal sounding bell, said to have been the poorest bell ever shipped 
into the State of Vermont. The sound of it provoked the criticism 
of all who heard it. It was taken down and carried back to the 
foundry in Troy, and, in 1832, July 4th, the new bell was hung to 
ring on that occasion. This proved to be a fine bell, the only one in 
the town. On the third Sunday of the revival meetings, under Elder 
Knapp, to the surprise of all, the bell did not ring. The tongue had 
been stolen during the night. Three men, who had been hanging 
around the building during the evening services, were supposed to 
be the thieves. The Methodist minister denounced the robbers. 
Mr. Knapp simply noticed it with the remark, "The way of the 
transgressor is hard. " And he afterward said that these men would 
be severely punished. The bell tongue was returned in two or three 
days. These three men lost their lives in less than a year. These 
fatalities naturally recalled to the people the evangelist's predic- 
tion. In 1845, the meeting-house burned. The heat was intense and 
in some unexplained way the bell began to toll, sending out its 
solemn notes until it fell. It seemed to be sounding its o\Ani funeral 
knell. The melted metal was taken from the ruins and sent to 
Troy to be recast. In the meantime the church in Hinsdillville be- 
came very much involved. Their bell was a fine one and the foun- 
dry at Troy had a claim on it. So they exchanged the debris for 
the Hinsdillville bell, paying five hundred dollars additional. After 
all it did not sound well when hung. The tongue was too light, so 
they increased the weight of it and cracked the bell. This was a 
dilemma. They sent it to Troy, but it still lacked the silver to make 
the sound clear. So gifts of money 'in silver and copper were made 
with the express request that they should be ])ut in the bell and 
this is what gives it its clear sound. This bell has been blown down 
twice in severe storms of wind. The last time it was cracked a little 
and this detracts some-what from its sweetness, but not seriously. 
The church has long enjoyed the bell with an inviting voice. 



106 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

PiTTSFORD 

The Baptist church in Pittsford was organized in 1784, com- 
posed of the following members : Elisha Rich, Caleb Hendee, Abel 
Stevens, Moses Olmstead, Mary Stevens and Esther Rowley. 
Elder Elisha Rich was chosen pastor and installed March 17, 1785, 
and continued in office until 1803. Temporary supplies served till 
1808, when Elder William Harrington was secured at a salary of 
one hundred dollars for his services the ensuing year. His pastorate 
continued until 1817. After the removal of Mr. Harrington the 
church organization was kept up for a short time and then dis- 
banded. 

In 1841, the church was reorganized with fourteen members. 
Samuel Hendee was chosen deacon and Nahum Mills, clerk. Rev. 
Charles Berry commenced his ministry here November 7th, 1841, 
and continued it one year. Rev. Levi Smith became pastor in 
February, 1843, and remained four years. Rev. Washington 
Kingsbury served two years, 1847-1849; Rev. H. B.Wright, De- 
cember, 1849, one year; V. Church, 1851-1852; C. R. Nichols, one 
year; W. Kingsbury, 1854-1856; H. I. Wood, 1856-1859; J. C. Car- 
penter, 1856. 

In 1787, a meeting-house was built of logs and was occupied 
till 1795, when, by a combined effort of the different denomina- 
tions, another house of worship was built and the Congregational- 
ists and Baptists, the only churches in town, occupied it alternately. 
Elder Rich preached one part of the day and Elder Harward the 
other part. In 180'2, the Baptists \\athdrew and built a meeting 
place of their own, which they continued to occupy till some time 
after the close of Elder Harrington's ministr\% when they dis- 
banded and the house was neglected. 

At the time of the reorganization in 1841, the meeting-house 
was remodelled and greatly improved. 

In later years the pastors have been several and the terms 
short. Stephen Wright, B. A. Palatier, J. R. Taylor, G. J. Ganun, 
D. E. Post, L. B. Steele, Thoman Broxholm, J. W. Barker. 

For several years Sunday school and services were held in 
Whipple Hollow and pastors of West Rutland rendered assistance. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IX VERMONT 107 

In 1908, State Colporteur, G. H. Watt, held special meetings. 
Church and Sunday school reorganized, greatly to the encourage- 
ment of the church. Twenty-three were baptized. The following 
year a schoolhouse was purchased and fitted up for a chapel and 
nine were received by baptism. Deacon Thomas was specially in- 
fluential in carrying this enterprise through without incurring a 
debt. Under the efforts of Deacon Bixby, of Poultney, money and 
I)ledges were secured for seven nice horse sheds. Deacon Foster of 
the West Rutland church did much to encourage. In 1912, the 
church had a total membership of fifty-four, L. A. Cooney, pastor. 

North Bennington 

July 23, 1844, a church of thirty -eight members was formed at 
North Bennington, about three-quarters of a mile from the old 
Shaftsbury meeting-house. The First Church in Shaftsbury had 
recently dissolved and the new church was composed largely of 
its members, resident in North Bennington. Justin A. Smith, at 
the time principal of Union Academy, and afterward well-known 
as editor of The Standard, Chicago, was chosen first pastor. His 
ordination took place in October, in the old Shaftsbun.' meeting- 
house, where the Shaftsbury Association w^as then holding its 
sixty-fifth anniversary. 

The next important step was the resolution to build a meeting- 
house, an eligible site having been given by Deacon Nathan Hall. 
This house twenty- years afterward was moved about one hundred 
and twenty paces farther north, enlarged and greatly improved. 
Hon. T. W. Park gave the new lot for this purpose, paid the ex- 
pense of moving, and contributed liberally to the expense of im- 
proving the edifice. Deacon S. B. Sherwood, Deacon Elon Clark, 
Robinson & Parsons, Thatcher and Welling and others contributed 
liberally. 

Mr. Smith's pastorate was com])leted on August 15, 1849, 
much to the regret of his peoj)le. He was followed by J. D. E. 
Jones, William Hancock, Jay Huntington, Jireh Tucker, Horace 
Burchard, Harvey R. Travers, and Foster Henry, all men of talent 



108 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

and culture, graduates of colleges and theological institutions. In 
1878, when an historical sketch was presented at the Association, 
the church had a membership of ninety-eight. 

A. W. Cady was the next pastor, 1881. Twenty-six were 
added that year. George Shepherd served in 1885. A. S. Gilbert had 
a five year pastorate, 1887-1892, and R. M. Tozer, one of thirteen 
years, 1892-1905. Under these long and able pastorates the church 
prospered and attained a membership of about one hundred and 
fifty. 

The church continued to prosper under the pastorates of 
A. S. Davis, L. A. Cooney, and W. I. Coburn, and numbered 
one hundred and forty-nine members in 1912. 

Hydeville 

A church was constituted in this place in May, 1850, consist- 
ing of twenty -one members, and was received the same year into 
the Vermont Association. The new church, by the kindness of 
Messrs. Hyde, Fuller and Hyde, were permitted to occupy a con- 
venient and agreeable place of worship till the following year, when 
a meeting-house was erected. The State Convention gave the 
church its aid, continuing the same for ten years, during which 
time it had appropriated for this purpose about one thousand dol- 
lars. Nine were baptized the second year and two removed by 
death, one of these, the first person baptized into the church. In 
1854, C. H. Green w^as ordained and entered upon a pastorate of 
seven years. A convenient parsonage was secured, good Father 
Churchill paying about one-fourth the cost. Large congregations 
attended the preaching services of Pastor Green, and the church 
prospered and increased in numbers till in 1860 it numbered ninety 
members. J. H. Gile, J. Goadby, J. K. Clark, served short terms. 
In 1865, a Sunday school was sustained in Fairhaven by the mem- 
bers of this church, and two years later, 1867, the interest had so 
increased there that twenty -four members were dismissed from the 
Hydeville church to constitute a church in Fairhaven, greatly 
weakening the parent church. For a time it was supplied from Fair- 
haven. Though weakened, it maintained unity and a degree of hope. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 109 

In 187''2,it had this record, that from the beginning they had never 
been divided and no action had ever been taken that was not un- 
animous. At length, by 1876, preaching was discontinued, and no 
meetings were held for a time, and in 1878, in its letter to the As- 
sociation, it expressed the expectation that soon it would become 
extinct. But Rev. C. A. Thomas, of Brandon, befriended them with 
a sermon the first Sunday in each month for a year, 1879, and A. W. 
Jefferson followed the same course the next year. A Sunday school 
was organized. Then preaching was secured, Rev. M. Mills and 
Rev. C. A. Ferguson supplying the pulpit. In 1882, they are re- 
ported as wrestling with God for the outpouring of his Spirit. A 
pastor was given them the next year in the person of Rev. E. D. 
Phillips, and in 1884, the answer to their prayers came and thirty- 
one were added to their membership. W. H. Walker became pastor 
in 1886. In 1889, calamity came. Their house of worship was de- 
stroyed by fire. They continued worship in the parsonage, L. B. 
Steels and O. Richardson supplying. The following year a new 
meeting-house was erected and dedicated free of debt. J. B. Web- 
ster was chosen pastor and served till 189'2. The church roll was 
revised, reducing it to thirty-six. In 1895, G. H. Wrigley was se- 
cured as pastor. The next year the church was thoroughly re- 
organized; four were received by letter and twenty -five by restora- 
tion or experience. The courage of the church was renewed. A. J. 
Swart led them from 1898 to 1901; F. J. Franklin, 1902-1904; 
O. E. Cox, 1904-1906; G. W. Compton, 1906-1907; Leonard Aid- 
rich, 1909. Thus the little church survived its trials and at last 
reports had a membership of sixty -se\'en. 

Pawlet 

The first Baptist church in Pawlet was organized on the first 
Monday in May, 1790, on the premises of Allen Whedon. It was 
organized under the auspices of Elder Brown of the chunh in 
Westfield, N. Y. Its first members were: James Bennett, Thomas 
Hall, Solomon Brow^l, Joseph Haskall, John Crouch, Samuel Sisco, 
Caleb Agard, Nathaniel Harmon, Samuel Abbott, Alexander 
Trumbull, Edmund Whedon, Lydia Wilcox, Mary Bennett, Han- 



110 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

nail Hanks, Miriam Hopkins, Sibel Sheldon, Lydia Agard, and 
Elizal)eth Crouch. For the first ten years it was destitute of a 
meeting-house. Its preachers were: Elders Brown, Skeels, Green, 
Wait, Cornell, Dodge, Blood and Beals, each for brief periods. 

Its first deacons were: Joseph Haskall and Jeremiah Arnold. 
From its membership Solomon Brown, Timothy Brewster, Daniel 
Hascall and Lemon Andrus were licensed to preach. 

In 1800, a church edifice was built on the premises of Seeley 
Brown, by the West Pawlet Meeting-House Company, which was 
used almost exclusively by the Baptists for twenty-four years. A 
parsonage was built in 1802, which appears to have been used for 
the Baptist minister exclusively. The whole number of members be- 
longing to this church was about two hundred, and it is said to have 
had at one time one hundred and fifty members. It was the mis- 
fortune, perhaps, the fault of this church, to be isolated from sister 
churches during most of its existence. Elder Isaac Beals was called 
to settle over the church in 1801, and continued till its dissolution 
in 1831. 

The second Baptist church in Pawlet was formed in 18'-26, 
and admitted to the Vermont Association. It owed its origin to 
the fact that the first Baptist church in Pawlet, from which all of 
its first members came, was not, and had not been for many years, 
in fellowship with any other body. Isaac Wickliam, Seth Blosson, 
Reuben Toby, Washington Z. Wait and Seth P. Stiles were among 
its first members. Its ministers were: Elders L. P. Reynolds, 
Wetherell, Abram Woodward, Joseph Packer, Daniel Cobli, 
E. S. Soullard, Sweet, Meat, Sanders, and Archibald Wait. 

Its deacons were Isaac Wickham and Reuben Toby. About 
the year 1848 this organization was dissolved. 

West Pawlet 

In the year 1852, what is known now as the Baptist church in 
West Pawlet was organized under the auspices of Elder A. Wait, 
who served them as pastor three or four years. A church edifice 
was built the same year. Elder Wait's ministry was attended with 
considerable success. After him Elders Comlie, Hancock and Mos- 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 111 

her, were employed, but not till 1859 was this church in fellowshij) 
with any other body. In that year, under the influence of David 
Beecher, this church was admitted to the Vermont and Shaftsbury 
Association. In 1859, its membership was twenty-four. Under the 
zealous and faithful labors of Mr. Beecher it increased to one hun- 
dred and seventeen. Its first deacons were Jeremiah Clark and 
B. H. Nelson. In its letter asking for admission to the Association 
the church expressed its conviction that "it is our duty to bear a 
decided testimony against Intemperance, and Oppression and 
believe that church members should not unite wath secret so- 
cieties; sympathize \\ath the American Baptist Free Mission So- 
ciety, but desire to exercise, and also ask the charity that thinketh no 
evil, where conscientious differences of opinion may exist on this 
subject." Twenty-four united with this church the following year 
and seven the next. In 1867, for two months beginning with the first 
of January, meetings were held nearly every night and sometimes 
in the afternoon. The result of these efforts was that the church 
was greatly encouraged and strengthened, and twenty -eight put on 
('hrist by baptism a large share of whom were from the Sunday 
school. The church was saddened in the midst of this rejoicing, 
by the death of the pastor 's wife. 

The more recent pastors have been S. H. Archibald, 1874, one 
year; H. J. S. Lewis, 1877, one year; E. D. Mason, 1882, one year; 
F. W. Gookin, 1883, one year; A. J. Swart, 1888-1893, about six 
years; H. M. Ives, 1894; R. L. Olds, 1897, one year; Thomas 
Cull, five and one-half years; H. M. Ives, 1894, two years; Geo. 
Williams, 1910. 

During E. D. Mason's ministry special meetings were held 
under the lead of A. B. Earle and twelve were added. McGeorge 
and Brother Swart worked together in special meetings in 1888 and 
twenty-two were added, thirteen the next year and nine the next. 
Under the loving and judicious leadership of Thomas (^ull the 
church prospered and made advance in temporal and spiritual 
lines. 

The church at last report numbered ninety uKMubers. 



112 history of the baptists in vermont 

Fair Haven 

The Baptist church was organized December 14lh 1867, with 
thirty -one members, most of whom were from the church in Hyde- 
ville, x\lonzo Allen and I. N. Compton, deacons. Meetings were 
first held in the chapel over Mr. Adams' store, and afterwards in 
the town hall. Preaching was supplied for a time by the Rev. L. 
Howard and O. Cunningham of Rutland, and H. L. Grose, then 
of Balston, N. Y. Rev. F. P. Jones became pastor in September, 
1869. The cornerstone of the new church on the south corner of the 
common was laid with religious ceremonies on the afternoon of 
June 2, 1870, addresses being delivered on the occasion by Revs. 
E. Sawyer, J. Freeman, W. W. Water, E. P. Hooker, J. Goadby, 
and by the pastor, Dwight Spencer. The basement was finished 
and entered in 1871 and the structure completed in 1874, at a cost 
of $24,000. 

The church grew rapidly in membershipand in resources. In 
1873,$1 1 ,000 were paid on the church edifice, $7000 more subscribed, 
and a bell purchased at a cost of $860. During the four years, 
$6000 had been paid out on current expenses. 

The membership increased from the original thirty-one in 
1867, to one hundred and fifty -five in 1879. From that time, for a 
season, the tide of prosperity receded somewhat. Removals were 
frequent and death harvested some of the members who had been 
most influential in the earlier years. Mr. Spencer resigned in 1881 
and was succeeded by Rev. J. R. Gow who remained about four 
years. J. B. Lee, Thomas Neal and L. L. Hobbs followed with brief 
terms of service. 

In 1891, J. S. Lyon began an energetic pastorate and there was 
a turn in the tide of prosperity. Thirty-two were received in 1891 
and twenty-three in 1893. Mr. Lyon was succeeded by B. F. Kel- 
logg, 1894-1895; C. A. Johnson, 1896; John Johnson, 1897-1898: 
R. C. Penney, 1902-1905; E. A. Foote, 1905-1910. 

Special attention has been given liy this church from the be- 
ginning to its Sunday school and Young People's organizations. 
Mr. Spencer was a specialist in this line of work; Mr. Lyon was a 
leader in the jiromotion of Y. P. S. C. E. work, and a flourishing so- 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 113 

ciety added material strength to the church. Under Mr. Penney 's 
ministry this church had the largest Junior C. E. society in the 
State. Accessions to the church have been largely from the Sunday 
school. The work of maintaining and renovating the house of wor- 
ship taxed the liberality of the people, and they generously re- 
sponded. In 1901 , jViiss Phoebe Wood gave a deed of the parsonage 
property. Labor troubles in the town in recent years caused serious 
financial stringency, and the removal of many from the place, crip- 
pling the churches and causing discouragement. The need of a 
cheerful, hopeful pastor was happily met in E. A. Foote, during 
whose ministry the church reached a membership of one hundred 
and eighty-four. Mr. Foote resigned in 1910 and was followed by 
another optimistic pastor, Silas P. Perry. 

Membership, one hundred and ten, in 1912. 

West Rutland 

The West Rutland Church became independent of Rutland, 
the parent vine, in 1884, May 28. The constituent members were 
from Rutland and Ira, and others who had long cherished and 
worked for the cause in this place. A house of worship was erected 
at a cost of $2,500, and the Holy Spirit seemed to bless the efforts 
of the young church in the conversion of souls. The State CouAcn- 
tion, by its agent and its appropriations, fostered the infant in- 
terest. In December, Rev. H. C. Leverett commenced his work as 
the first pastor, but was quickly called to his reward above. Rev. 
A. N. Woodruff, of Shutesbury, Mass., was chosen to fill his place, 
but resigned May 3, 1889, and Rev. W. H. Walker, after supplying 
three months, was called and ordained pastor. In 1887, evangelistic 
effort, under Alexander McGeorge and others, resulted in the in- 
gathering of thirty-four new members. For a season the church was 
pastorless and part of the time closed. In 1893, Bretluen Marshall 
and Homer, of Rutland, led the Thursday evening j>rayer meetings, 
until a pastor was secured in the i)erson of Rev. W. Weyeth, who 
served two years. The church then united with the Ira church in 
support of Pastor Geo. II. Watt, and in 1899, se\enteen were 



114 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

brought into the church. Pastors F. C. Wright, H. S. Vinal, and 
C. H. Shaw served short terms. 

In 1806, Rev. Frank S. Tolman, a careful planner and energetic 
worker, took up the work and the church grew in strength and num- 
bers. In 1910, Rev. A. B. O'Neal, whose spirituality and ability 
awakened bright hopes, died after a brief stay, L. A. Cooney 
succeeded him. The church, still fostered by the Convention, 
numbered thirty-six in 1912, having lost many by removals and 
other causes. 



Clarendon 

Within the years 1784, 1785, 1786, churches were organized 
in Pittsford and East and West Clarendon. The chief agency in this 
work was Elisha Rich. Though the Wallingford people did not 
find in him the "Pastoral Gift," he was eminently successful in 
other places. He was one of the interesting men of his period, not 
thoroughly educated, but richly endowed with gifts and with evan- 
gelistic zeal. He was born in Sutton, Mass., in 1737. He came into 
Vermont from Chelmsford, Mass. He was a blacksmith and gun- 
smith, to which he added the accomplishment of successful farmer 
and beekeeper, as well as of evangelist and pastor. He came to 
Cavendish, then moved to Saltash, now Plymouth, bought a piece 
of ground and tarried there till the spring or summer of 1778, then 
moved to Clarendon and purchased a good farm on Otter Creek. 
Many of the early settlers of Clarendon were Baptists from Rhode 
Island. Under Mr. Rich 's preaching, during the five years he lived 
there, a great revival occurred which resulted in the organization 
of the two churches, the West in 1785, and the East in 1786. Elder 
Rich experienced no little rough opposition in Clarendon. Persons 
in disguise would surround his house and cruelly beat his cattle, 
that they might have opportunity to abuse him also. The pulpit 
in the log meeting-house was torn down and set up again so slightly 
as to tumble down whenever Mr. Rich should attempt to ascend it. 



history of the baptists in vermont 115 

East Clarendon 

As previously stated, this church was organized probably in 
1786. Elder William Harrington became their pastor in 1798. The 
church then consisted of seventeen members. His labors were blest, 
and in 1805, one hundred and twenty -three members were reported 
at the Association. Fifty-six had joined the church the previous 
year. The church then passed through some trials. Elder Harring- 
ton was dismissed in 1808, and William McCuUar served from that 
time till 1814, che church in the meantime enjoying an interesting- 
revival. From this time it seems not to have had a settled pastor, 
though they enjoyed a measure of prosperity, as two revivals are 
reported, one in 1817 and the other in 18'-25. In the former there 
were added forty members, and in the latter, about thirty. The 
church maintained "travel" from 1798 to 18'27, when its existence 
as a church practically ceased. 

West Clarendon 

There was occasional preaching in West Clarendon also by 
Elders Eastman, Cornell, Skeels and others. In 1789, Elder Isaac 
Beals was settled as pastor, whose labors resulted in the ingathering 
of large congregations and the melting down of opposition, and in 
securing occasional conversions. At length it pleased God to pour 
out his Spirit and convert a large number. A meeting-house was 
erected in 1798, and things wore the aspect of prosperity, but as in 
many cases, it was the forerimner of heavy trials. The church be- 
came divided, the society disbanded, and in less than four years 
from this time this church was prostrate and in ruins. From 18()'-2 
to 1808 was a dark time in West Clarendon. Little attention was 
paid to the public worship of God. In 1808, the neighboring town 
of Ira was visited by nu extensive revival and its influence extended 
into ('larendon. Large numbers professed conversion and united 
with the churches in Ira and East Clarendon. At length, in 181'-2,the 
Clarendon members of the Ira church united together and con- 
stituted a new church at West Clarendon, consisting of eighty-nine 
members. Its first pa.stor was Elder Daniel Tinkham. Under his 



116 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

labors the church seemed to prosper for several years. He was dis- 
missed in 1817. Nathaniel Culver, after being ordained, next be- 
came their pastor. He was with them about four years. Then 
Elder John Peck preached to them more or less for several years. 
The struggle in reference to Free Masonry occurred in the mean- 
time, which very much reduced and disheartened them. From this 
discouragement they did not rally, and before 1845 were extinct as 
a church. 

Danby 

About the year 1780, Hezekiah Eastman, then a licentiate, 
came to this place and preached and gathered a church. He was 
soon after ordained, and being the first ordained minister in town, 
he took possession of the rights reserved by charter for the first 
settled minister. This church was one of the constituent members 
of the Vermont Association. In 1789, it reported one himdred and 
nine members. Mr. Eastman did not remain long after his ordina- 
tion, and sold out his ministerial right, and so involved himself in 
circumstances not the most favorable to himself, and not most 
favorable to the cause. After this there was some more preaching in 
town, but the church soon became extinct. 

Hezekiah Eastman is described as a person of great natural 
ability. His education did not extend beyond the rudiments of a 
common English education, but he was a close student of the Bible, 
and a careful observer of men and things, and having thorough 
physical training he was prepared to endure great hardships. He 
met appointments in other towns and was obliged to travel many 
miles, sometimes on horseback and often on foot, over bad roads 
and through wilderness to meet appointments. His meetings were 
held in log houses and were generally large. 

It is related that while he was preaching at a certain place, one 
Deacon Mott came in at the front door very late, causing a dis- 
turbance to the hearers, and Mr. Eastman himself was somewhat 
disturbed, and remarked that those coming in at the eleventh hour 
should enter the back door, which would cause less disturbance. 
Deacon Mott replied, "that the Bible taught that those that came 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 117 

in at the eleventh hour are just as good as those who came in at 
the first liour, and that he had come in the strait and narrow way, 
and who so entereth in any other way is a thief and a robber. " 

In 1833, Elder Packer visited Danby and made some effort to 
awaken an interest. The effort seemed to be blessed, a number pro- 
fessed conversion and were baptized, and soon after a church of 
twenty-one members was constituted. They enjoyed occasional 
preaching from different ministers for a time, and afterward en- 
joyed the services of licentiates, and in 1839, the church reported 
forty-four members. It soon met with discouragements. Some of 
its members moved away and it ceased to report to the Association 
and became extinct. 

Arlington 

The Baptist church in Arlmgton, after due examination of 
her Articles of Faith, and Covenant, was constituted August 27, 
1812, and received into the fellowship of the Baptist churches by 
the Ecclesiastical Council, then and there convened, from the fol- 
lowing churches : First Baptist church in Shaftsbury, Elder Isaiah 
Mattison, Deacon Nathaniel Hall; East Shaftsbury, Cyprian 
Downer, a licentiate, Deacon Daniel Smith; Fourth Shaftsbur\% 
Deacon Ebenezer Clark, Jacob Galusha, Charles Dyer, Oliver 
Whipple, Russell Loomis; Manchester, Elder C. Chamberlain, Jacob 
Thomas, Samuel Pettibone, Salem, N. Y., Samuel M. Plumb, 
licentiate. Deacon Stephen Estee, James Lake, James Hastings, 
Cambridge, N. Y., Benjamin Smith, Leonard Center. 

The church then consisted of fifty members residing in the 
towns of Arlington, Sunderland and Sandgate, who were previously 
members of Baj)tist churches and thus became a distinct church. 
Their names, Hull Curtis, James McKee, Currine McKee, Moses 
McKee, Aruba McKee, Jonas Galusha, Electa Galusha, Sarah 
Washbom, Lydia Bartlett, Amos ^Yoolman, ]\Iar\^ Hinsdale, 
Abner Evarts, Isaac Whitehead, Hepsibah Pollard, Sally I*ollard. 
Benajah Cook, Caleb Andrews, Ruonril .Andrews, Sarah Cornfield, 
Elisha King, Phili]) Marl)le, Jr., Sally Marble, K. Griffin. Reul)cn 
Beebe, Elizabeth Beebe, Moses B. Sherwin, Lucy Sherwin, John 



118 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

Baron, Sally Baron, Rhoda Temple, Lydia Perkins, Amos Baron, 
Mary Baron, Eunice Baron, x'Vnna iVnnin, David Allen, Polly Allen, 
Lillis Wheat, Laura Aylsworth, Clarissa Aylsworth, Nathan Skin- 
ner, Jeptha Beebe, Sarah Beebe, Rufus Spencer, Hulda Spencer, 
Mary Ward, David Mattison, Jr., Rhoda Curtis, Persis Folsom, 
Abigal Baker, Hannah Curtis, Elizabeth Elsworth. 

On the same day after the council adjourned, the church ap- 
pointed Moses McKee, moderator, and EHas King, clerk, and then 
adjourned to the 10th of September, at the house of Jeptha Beebe. 
September 10, met agreeable to adjournment and elected dea- 
cons, Hull Curtis and Moses McKee; Elisha King was chosen clerk. 

The preceding is taken from the church records, and from them 
we learn that at different times there were added to the church, in 
about twenty years, over a hundred and twenty more members. 
During that period, and perhaps a few more, the ordinances of the 
Gospel were enjoyed and much of the time the services of a Gospel 
preacher. Some severe trials were passed through — many of the 
most efficient members removed to other parts and several died. 
Most of the time they enjoyed a good degree of harmony, but roots 
of bitterness did spring up. The efficient members were few and 
constantly diminishing; opposition from without was powerful, in 
wealth and influence; the love of many waxed cold. The church 
ceased to report to the Association after 1836. In its last report 
it expressed fears that its candle would be removed, and that fear 
was soon nfter realized. 



Chapter VIII 
ADDISON COUNTY ASSOCIATION 

On the 13th of November, 1833, a Comention was held in 
Whiting (as tradition has it, for the minutes of that bodj' do not 
give the place of meeting), for the purpose of organizing a new 
Association in Addison County. Nine churches were represented 
by their delegates. Elders Henry Green, Isaac Sawyer, Anthony 
Case, Aaron Angier and Jehial Wright were invited to a seat with 
them. 

The Convention resolved that it was expedient to form such 
an Association, appointed a committee to draft a constitution and 
rules of decorum, and appointed H. H. Hafl" to preach the in- 
troductory sermon, and B. Carpenter to write the circular letter. 

Agreeably to appointment, delegates from the churches repre- 
sented in the Convention, and also from Cornwall and Charlotte 
churches, not there represented, met at the Baptist meeting-house 
in Panton, and organized the Association by choice of Rev. B. 
Carpenter, moderator, and Rev. S. Fletcher, clerk. The churches 
thus associated were: Whiting, ^\^th one hundred members. Rev. 
W. Moore, pastor; Middlebury, sixty-three members, Re\-. H. H. 
Haff, pastor; Bristol, eighty-two members. Rev. Henry Green, 
pastor; Ferrisburg, seventeen members, Rev. John A. Dodge, 
pastor; Monkton, forty -nine members; Bridi)ort. one hundred 
and thirty -eight members. Rev. S. Fletcher, pastor; Addison, one 
hundred and thirty-six members. Rev. B. Carpenter, i)astor; Pan- 
ton, eighty-six members. Rev. J. Tenbroek, licentiate; Weyl)ridge, 
fifty-seven members. Rev. J. Wright, pastor; Cornwall, eighty- 
three members. Rev. A. Case, pastor; Charlotte, thirty-five mem- 
bers. Total meml)ership, seven hundred and forty -one. 

All the churches cbnstituting the Addison Association had 
been connected with the Vermont Association, and their with- 



120 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

drawal to form an Association by themselves appears to have been 
the result of the Anti -Masonic controversy. Several efforts had 
been made by the churches holding the most radical disciplinary 
sentiments on this subject, to have the Vermont Association de- 
clare itself in favor of excluding members of the Masonic Fraternity 
from the churches. The Association declined to pass the desired 
resolution, considering it better to leave the settlement of that 
vexed question vnth the individual churches. This unsatisfactory 
action unquestionably had much to do with the call of the CouAen- 
tion which decided to organize a new association. 

The first resolution passed in the new organization put it 
on the desired platform. ''Resolved, that this Association recom- 
mend to the churches composing it to deal with such as practice 
speculative Freemasonry (if any there be) as they would with 
those that practice other moral evils. " The history of the Associa- 
tion, and of the individual churches, indicate that a ruling common 
purpose of the body was active opposition to existing moral evils, 
of which Freemasonry' was considered one, by public discussions 
in their annual sessions, and by vigorous disciplinary measures in 
the several churches. At the first session, R. B. James, agent of the 
Moral Reform Society, New York, and O. S. Murray, agent of the 
Vermont Anti-Slavery Society, were present and participated in 
the exercises. 

Their second resolution, after several addresses on the subject, 
was, "Resolved, that, in the opinion of this Association, the prin- 
ciples of the American Se\'entli Commandment and Female Moral 
Reform Societies, do fully accord with the Scriptures, and their 
measures are well calculated to prevent licentiousness, and that 
we consider the publication of McDowall's Journal peculiarly 
adapted to promote the objects of these societies; and for this pur- 
pose recommend it to the patronage of our churches and the public 
generally." From the beginning, for many years, slavery, licen- 
tiousness, intemperance, war and kindred topics, received a large 
share of attention in the annual sessions and the resolutions passed 
are in language plainer and stronger than most of such declarations 
in the other associations. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 121 

A peace resolution passed at the session in 1837, is worthy of 
record, being advanced enough to satisfy the most ardent advocate 
of peace measures. ''Resolved, that the precepts and example of 
our Saviour teach peace on earth and good will to men; that 
he laid dow n his life in obedience to the principle of non-resistance — 
of rendering good for evil, leaving vengeance to the Lord; that 
his precepts are to be obeyed and his example to be imitated, by all 
his followers. Resolved, therefore, that all war and fighting is 
sinful, and consequently to be immediately abandoned, forever 
abstained from, and always reproved by every follower of Christ; 
Resolved, that to be in preparation for war is not the way to pre- 
vent war, ,but, on the contrary, directly calculated to induce it. 
therefore, it is the duty of all christians to discountenance and 
testify against all military trainings, — the keeping of standing 
armies, — the building of fortifications, — the establishment and 
maintenance of institutions of learning for teaching the art of war — 
and all means and measures by which the unchristian, irrational 
practice is perpetuated. " 

From the beginning the Association made special effort to 
incite the churches to active interest in all the benevolent and mis- 
sionary enterprises of the time. The churches were urged to form 
themselves into charitable societies, and to take immediate meas- 
ures to raise a definite sum per member for benevolent purposes. 
They were advised to observe the evening of the first Monday in 
each month as the Missionary Concert of Prayer, and every Satur- 
day evening as a Concert of Special Prayer, for a re^-ival of religion 
in the churches of the Association. 

Prompt efforts were made to secure a fund for the benefit of 
widows and orphans of deceased Baptist ministers. At the meet- 
ing in 1836, a fund of $850 was raised fort his purpose, and annually, 
contributions were made and dispensed under the management of 
trustees. The Bible cause and Ministerial Education and other 
branches of work were not neglected in the discussions and plans 
of this body. 

The opening years of the Association were full of promise. In 
1835, the churches of Onvell, Cornwall and Addison received an 
unusually large number by baptism. The year following was still 



122 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS JN VERMONT 

more encouraging. Addison received forty-three by baptism and 
three by letter; Bristol, eighty -three by baptism, and nine by letter; 
Charlotte received thirty-six new members, more than doubling 
its former membership; Whiting received thirty-one new members, 
and the total number of baptisms in the Association that year was 
two hundred and twenty -seven, the largest accession in its history. 

The Panton church was revived in 1839 and received seventy - 
two converts. 

From 1836 there begins the history of a steady and sorrowful 
decline. The Association, which in 1836, numbered one thousand, 
one hundred and ninety -five, was in 1865, reduced to three hundred 
and forty -five, or less than one-third the number which it had once 
attained. The annual reports from the churches were extremely 
depressing. Now and then there were hopeful indications, but for 
the most part indications of weakness, trouble and decline. 

The causes of decadence were many. One unavoidable cause 
was the emigration of the younger and vigorous members to the 
west or to the cities. The proportion of losses to be credited to this 
cause have no doubt, however, been sometimes overestimated. 
Other more destructive causes were at work. 

The extreme Anti-Masonic sentiments which prevailed in 
these churches gave them frequent trouble. Sympathy with Free- 
masonry was as hateful to them as heresy, and the discovery of it 
in a member, and especially in a minister, was like a spark in 
powder. 

In July, 1830, the church in Bristol, after declaring Masonry 
incompatible with the religion of Jesus Christ, had resolved that 
"we cannot receive nor fellowship any person in this church that 
has anything to do with Speculative Freemasonry, directly or in- 
directly, in supporting or upholding the same." Parties were 
formed in a way that made neutrality untenable. Good members 
were highly excited about the possible connivance of the pastor 
with that system. The grievance with the church was "for keeping 
Elder Hendee to preach on account of Masonry. " Elder H. stated 
to the council that he was once a Mason, but now avoided all as- 
sociation with that obnoxious fraternity. Yet he could not imite 
in the exposure and indiscriminate denunciation against them, but 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 123 

had attempted to maintain a strict neutrality. The council finally 
"Resolved, that the minority has had cause of grief with the 
church that they had not required of Elder H. a full and frank 
expression of his disapprol)ation of Freemasonry, as he ought to 
have made. Resolved, that the minority ought to be satisfied with 
the expression Elder H. has this day made." Elder Hendee closed 
his labors October 1, 1831. 

From the earliest days of \'ermont Baptist History, Free- 
masonry was regarded with undisguised suspicion by many in che 
churches. It was questioned whether a christian ought to become 
a Mason, and whether churches should fellowship any person who 
was a member of that secret order. But about 1827, excitement on 
that subject became acute. A man named Morgan, a printer, had 
published for gain, a book in which the harmless secrets of the order 
of Freemasons, of which he was a member, were divulged. Public 
curiosity caused this book to have an immense sale. Soon after 
its publication, Morgan announced another volume which was to re- 
veal unimagined horrors; but before the book appeared ^lorgan 
disappeared, and neither ever came to light. Now arose the ques- 
tion, "What became of Morgan?" and it rent the nation for a time 
into two embittered and angry factions. "Morgan, " said the Free- 
mason, "died and was buried in the natural and ordinary fashion. " 
"Morgan," said the Anti-Masons, "ihat martyred patriot, was 
dragged from his home by Masonic ruffians, taken in the dead of 
night to the shores of Niagara river, murdered, and thrown into 
the rai)ids." It is impossible for anyone to conceive the utter 
delirium into which the ])eoj)le in scmie parts of the country were 
thrown by the agitation of this subject. Books were written ; papers 
were established. Exhibitions were gotten up in which Masonic 
ceremonies were caricatured. Fjimilies were divided. Fathers 
disinherited their sons, and sons forsook their fathers. Elections 
were influenced, not in towns and counties merely, l)ut state and 
national. 

There were Masonic candidates and Anti-Masonic candidates 
in every election in the northern states for at least two years after 
Morgan vanished. It was seriously believed among the Anti- 
Masons that the Masons were bound to protect one another in 



124 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

doing injustice; even the commission of murder and treason did 
not, it was said, exclude a man from the shelter of his lodge. It was 
alleged that a Masonic jury did not dare, or would not, condemn 
a prisoner, who after the fullest proof of his guilt had l)een obtained, 
made the Masonic sign of distress. It was said that a judge re- 
garded the oath which made him a Freemason as more sacred and 
more binding than that which admitted him to the bench. "It is in 
vain, " said the Anti-Masons, "for one of us to seek justice against 
a Mason, for a jury cannot be obtained without its share of Masonic 
members, and a court cannot be found without its Masonic judge. " 
This is a secular account of Freemasonry excitement, taken from 
James Parson's "Life of Horace Greeley." Naturally this excite- 
ment affected the churches. It divided the Vermont Association 
and was the cause of the withdrawal from it of the churches that 
immediately formed the Addison Association. In this Association 
the hostility to Masonry was particularly fatal to the peace of the 
churches, and among the causes of the decline and extinction of 
some of them. 

The Advent excitement in this Association was violent and 
more destructive here than in any other part of the State. William 
Miller was a meml^er of the Orwell church and licensed by it to 
preach. He was permitted to lecture freely among the churches of 
the Association, and a large number of members embraced his 
doctrines. But, not content with differing w4th their brethren, they 
became schismatics, denouncing all who did not embrace the same 
views. They stigmatized the churches as "Babalon, " "the mother 
of harlo;ts," and the " abomination of the earth. " "The wise " were 
called to come out of them and touch not the unclean thing. They 
forsook the churches and its ordinances and defamed both alike. 
They desired to be separated from the churches and would not 
walk with them, and accordingly after a time were expelled. The 
churches sometimes failed in forbearance, but in the main their 
exclusion was a necessity. 

Another breeder of discord and destruction was Orison S. 
Murray, who was a member of the Orwell church until expelled. 
He had been licensed in 1837 by this church to preach. He was the 
anti-slavery leader of the Association. But mingling with his anti- 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 125 

slavery views other dogmas opposed alike to the word of God and 
the peace of the churches, he drifted farther and farther from the 
simplicity of the Gospel until he made land at last in open infidelity. 
He drew some disciples after him, and this Association furnished 
some who embraced his pernicious heresies. On this account ex- 
pulsions were necessary. 

There were still other causes fordechne. Rev. T. H. Archibald, 
in his semi-centennial address before this Association in 1883, spoke 
with utmost frankness upon these causes, and since his address was 
adopted and printed in the minutes, his judgment appears to have 
been endorsed by the Association as historically correct. He says, 
"An influence far more fundamental and far reaching was at work, 
and that was the worldliness of the members generally. This spirit 
manifested itself in many directions. One of these was an utter 
failure to provide an adequate support for the ministry. The As- 
sociation has had not a few able men in the pastorate of the different 
churches, but they were so inadequately supported that they were 
either compelled to resort to secular labors for a livelihood, or to 
leave the Association for other fields, where those who waited upon 
their ministry were willing also to communicate to them in temporal 
things. The names of M. D. Miller, J. Tenbroek, W. G. Johnson, 
J. Wescott, Benjamin Brierly, Ahira Jones, I. Keach, A. Angier, 
and others that might be mentioned, show clearly that there might 
have been no dearth of ministerial service. But they were often 
hampered by their pecuniary necessities and took their departure, 
literally starved out, to bless other communities with their work 
of faith and labor of love. 

"Such men as E. H. Gray,D.D., E. B. Smith, D. D., M. M. 
Dean, were the spiritual children of these churches, but they could 
have no hope of sufficient support if they tarried where they first 
received spiritual life, and they left the people who would never 
fully appreciate their work, and afford them such means of living 
as would enable them to give themselves to prayer and the ministry 
of the word." 

Historical sketches of the churches were read before the 
Association, from year to year, beginning in 1852, in the following 
order, Bridport, Orwell, Bristol, Monkton, Charlotte, Panton. 



126 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

Whiting, Addison, Waltham, Middlebury, Ferrisburgh, Cornwall 
and Shoreliam. 

These were ])rinted in the minutes of the Association and are 
interesting and valuable sources of information concerning the 
early life of these churches. They were written with remarkable 
plainness and abundantly confirm what has been said concerning 
the causes for the declension of the Association in membership 
and strength. The judicial function of the church was conscien- 
tiously exercised, but not always with discretion, and was some- 
times overtaxed by a trivial fault-finding disposition. Several 
elements of weakness will appear in a single incident, quaintly told 
in the history of the Middlebury church. " While Elder Nathaniel 
Kendrick labored with the church his support was so little that he 
taught school. He was much attached to the church, and left 
because he felt compelled to, saying in effect that he would submit 
to the most homely fare if he could be permitted to preach to 
the church in Middlebury." The reason he left was like this: "A 
certain Diotrephes (we will call him), became a member of the 
church. Seth Langdon, a most exemplary man, was appointed 
deacon. Diotrephes coveted the office and frequently entered 
complaint against Deacon Langdon in the church, but the precise 
cause of the complaint against the deacon has not transpired 
farther than that Deacon Langdon was exalted and Diotrephes 
abased. He left the meeting, also declaring he "could not walk 
with the church so long as Mordecai sat in the king's gate." He 
also alleged that the deacon's wife was unfit for the duties that 
devolved uj^on her. Whether Diotrephes met the fate of Haman 
we leave others to decide, for both Diotrephes and the Deacon's 
wife soon died, and we may suppose that the Deacon obtained a 
wife, who, in the estimation of Diotre]:>hes, was fit to share in the 
honors and duties of deaconship, for the Deacon soon afterward 
married his widow. 

Elder Kendrick felt the disturliing influence of this modern 
Diotrephes, and though no one could say aught against his charac- 
ter or ministry, though he had a good report of those without, the 
male members showed uncommon apathy when the time for raising 
a new subscription arrived. On the other hand the sisters were 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 127 

very anxious for him to remain, and four of them went out \\nth 
their subscription papers and raised the stipulated salary without 
any aid from the male members of the church. It was a sore trial 
for Elder Kendrick to leave the church, but he had accepted an- 
other place before he knew that his salary had been raised. 

"In about a year Elder Isaac Bucklin succeeded to the pastor- 
ate and remained two years. He is represented as a kind man who 
tried to smooth the path of the brethren and sisters and was well 
regarded by the people. His fault, for ministers have faults and 
a change of them has been wittily termed 'obtaining a new assort- 
ment of faults,' was driving a nice horse and carriage. Once he 
ventured to exchange horses and that was a mortal sin, in the 
eyes of one of the deacons. When questioned about it he said 
he thought it was as cheap to keep a good horse as a poor one, and 
as for the carriage, that was a present from his father-in-law to 
his wife. But all was of no avail. Though God blessed his labors 
and most of the brethren much desired him to stay, there was not 
that unanimity that promised success, and he left for another 
field. " 

Concerning salaries, in the pioneer days when the people were 
poor the pastors received no stipulated salary. 

In the history of the Cornwall Church is this record: 

"When Elder Ephraim Sawyer commenced his labors among 
the people, by a series of reverses in fortune he had been reduced 
to poverty. Having no stipulated salary the people gave him 
what they pleased. That the people were pleased to bestow of 
the blessings they enjoyed is proved by several instances of justice 
dealt out with kindness, among which we notice the following: 
There was a general contribution of wool, which was carded, spun, 
colored and woven by the good housewives and their daughters, 
and so Elder Sawyer was provided with a complete suit of clothes, 
which he much needed." 

In the records of the Whiting Church, under date of October 
4, 1799, is this item, — the only one concerning the pastor's ])ayment : 
"The church voted to bear Elder Rathbun's extra expense for 
liquor for himself and family, and to have it averaged on the 
members of the church, and that the Elder call on the deacons of 
the church for said liquor when he is in want of it. " 



128 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

Upon this item the historian makes this comment: "To the 
present generation it might be a matter of pleasing reference did 
the records of the church show the footing of expense annually, 
for this kind and thoughtful provision for their Spiritual Guide 
and his household, but this does not appear. We have reason, 
however, to believe that it was generous and ample according to the 
spirit of the times." 

When the Bristol church, in 1811, began to raise money by 
subscription for preaching, twenty-eight brethren subscribed the 
sum of thirty-five dollars. This they paid out to several ministers, 
in sums from one shilling to one dollar as cases demanded. 

It is fair to add that this church, in 1835, was paying three 
hundred dollars, which they increased to four hundred dollars 
the next year. 

In pioneer days when all were poor, the meager provision for 
ministers was not culpable perhaps, but became so when prosperity 
became general among the members. Dr. Archibald in his address 
said: "Addison County is one of the richest, if not the richest agri- 
cultural county in the State. For many years one of its purely 
rural towns, given wholly to agriculture, had the largest grand list 
in proportion to its population of any town in Vermont. " 

While lacking in respect to provision for ministerial support, 
the Association was not forgetful of the claims of the various 
benevolent and missionary enterprises of the denomination. 

At its first session the following resolution was passed : 

"Resolved, that we recommend to the several churches com- 
posing this Association to form themselves into charitable societies, 
and take immediate measures to raise a sum equal to fifty cents 
on each member, the ensuing year, for benevolent purposes." Al- 
though this recommendation was not fully complied with, yet the 
next year with eight hundred and eighty-seven members they 
report three hundred and forty-seven dollars and seventy cents 
raised for benevolent purposes, and the Association at that session 
raised in addition one hundred dollars for ministerial education, 
and two hundred and seventy-five dollars for the anticipated 
Widow and Orphan Fund. In 1836, when the membership was 
eleven hundred and ninety-five, they reported six hundred and 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 129 

seventy-six dollars and twenty-four cents for benevolence. Dur- 
ing forty-five years preceding 1883, the benevolent contributions of 
the Association amounted to thirteen thousand, eight hundred 
and thirty-three dollars and ninety -eight cents, or an average of 
three hundred and seven dollars and forty -two cents annually. 
The average of the membership for forty-nine years is six hundred 
and seventeen, so that the yearly contributions to bene^'olent 
purposes have averaged about fifty cents per member. 

If the sums paid for Vermont Academy, and to the Middlebury 
and Vergennes churches for building meeting-houses were added, 
the total would amount to over twenty thousand dollars. 

For the last three decades the Association has maintained a 
constituency of nine or ten churches. All but two of the churches 
now in the Association were among the constituent churches. 
These are Addison, Bristol, Charlotte, Middlebury, Panton, 
Whiting, West Cornwall. The church in Vergennes joined the 
circle in 1868, Lincoln in 1879, Middlebury, for a time blotted 
from the constellation, reappeared in 1879, and now shines with 
cheering brilliance. Few recent years have been marked by 
general revival interest. The largest ingatherings were in the 
years, 1807 and 1809, when sixty-two and seventy-one respectively 
were added by baptism. 

The annual meetings of the x\ssociation have been inspira- 
tional. 

The story of Ephraim Sawyer's life is a part of the history 
of the churches in Addison County; from early youth till old age 
he was fired with evangelistic zeal, which was very fruitful in this 
county. 

Elder Ephraim Sawyer. 

Ephraim Sawyer was l)orn in Leominster, Mass., September 
19, 1756. His parents were of the Presbyterian school of thought, 
very pious people, who were not neglectful of their children's 
religious training. Though often deeply impressed with his need 
of Christ, he resisted impressions through his youth. At the age 
of twenty -two he married. His father, catching the pioneer 



130 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

spirit, had moved to Westmoreland, N. H., which was then a 
wilderness. Extreme toil and hardships were theirs, in a country 
infested with savages and scoured by unprincipled Tories of the 
Revolution then in progress. Soon after his marriage he joined 
the Revolutionary Army. The godless life of many of the soldiers 
only deepened serious impressions and resulted in a somewhat 
protracted season of deep conviction, out of which he came into 
the peace of confiding trust. The hardships of camp life under- 
mined his health and he hired a substitute and returned to his family. 
He at once confessed his faith and began to bear witness and to 
seek the conversion of others. He was much in prayer for the 
unconverted. His activity awoke the church and resulted in the 
ingathering of thirty into the Westmoreland church, then under 
the care of Elder Ebenezer Bailey. From Westmoreland, he 
moved his family to Charlotte. There he was deprived almost 
wholly of church privileges. He was compelled to work stren- 
uously to provide for his family. He became financially em- 
barrassed and discouraged. 

For the first decade after his settlement in Charlotte, he de- 
pended mainly on his daily labor for the support of his family. 
The country being new and the settlers few and not wealthy, Mr. 
Sawyer received but little for his ministerial services, — nothing 
but his presents. Wages were low. As late as 1805, men worked 
in June (as I remember, said his friend. Rev. S. H. Tupper), for 
thirty-seven and one-half cents a day, which was the price of corn. 
Mr. Sawyer walked eight miles one day to his work, and at night 
took his pay in grain and carried it home on his back. This was 
about 1798, when the roads were new and bad. 

Soon after moving to Addison County, he preached in the 
school district, for which he received one hundred dollars. The 
week days he spent in making potash and clearing land. He 
cleared several acres of heavily timbered land (after chopped), 
and received only the ashes for his labor. None will wonder that 
he was always poor. 

He moved to Grand Isle, and there his prospects brightened, 
but his wife fell a victim to consumption, and he attempted to 
carry her to her home in Westmoreland. Securing a two-horse 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 131 

sleigh, he began the journey with her, but when within thirty 
miles of home she died, and he finished the journey in great sorrow. 
His affliction quickened his religious life. 

Arranging for the care of his children in Westmoreland, he 
came to Whiting, Vt., and cleared land for Gideon Walker, one of 
the earliest settlers. He there sought the fellowship of christians 
in Whiting and Orwell, and opened week day meetings, which were 
held about two hours before sunset and were well attended. He 
conducted these meetings. An interest was awakened and thirtj^ 
added to the church in Orwell, of which Elder Phelps was then 
pastor. In these laljors he was assisted by Elder Chaml^erlain, 
who emigrated from Westmoreland about the same time and lived 
in Leicester. People became impressed that he ought to become a 
minister. He gave the subject much thought. He was much in 
the solitude of the forests and always had his Bible with him, and 
was much in prayer. He made an effort to preach, and at first was 
encouraged, but his second attempt was not so successful, and he 
postponed the decision. He met Miss Susanna Farnum and 
married her. 

Soon after he started for the Genesee Valley, which was then 
a dense wilderness. The road was marked by blazed trees. He 
began work within thirty miles of Rochester. The fertility of the 
soil was much better than that of Vermont, but the country was 
ravaged by malaria and his wife sickened and died, and an infant 
followed in a few days. His own health also was broken. 

He returned to Whiting in 1792, and began at once his evange- 
listic work, resolved to preach if the way opened. He had not 
the learning of schools and books, but he vmderstood the avenues 
to the human heart and was able to draw illustrations from nature. 
He was of a clear, logical mind. His addresses were marked by 
genuine sympathy and kindness, and he loved to proclaim the 
love of God. 

In 1792, he was invited to Gornwall. There he worked with- 
out the promise or expectatioTi of reasonahle compensation. He 
labored with his hands; erected a log meeting-house; was ordained, 
and for nine years preached in Gornwall and adjacvnt towns. He 
was often in financial straits and twice was imprisoned by impatient 



132 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

creditors, but was soon bailed out by friends. He undertook 
long missionary journeys. 

He was invited to preach as pastor in Granville, N. Y., where 
an interest had been started. He went, built a meeting-house and 
had great success. But he wished to work as an evangelist. 
Removing his family to Rehoboth, Mass., he preached throughout 
Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island for five years. In 
1811, he wished to make a missionary journey to St. Lawrence 
County, N. Y. He went as far as Addison, where his daughter 
was living, and there fell sick and abandoned his journey to St. 
Lawrence County. He accepted a call to Shoreham and preached 
alternate Sundays there and at Whiting. He returned to Rehoboth 
and preached in that region from 1814 to 1821. Preached then in 
Bridport and Ferrisburgh and other towns. In 1822, removed 
to Orwell and preached three or four years. From Orwell he went 
to Addison, and stayed six months, and then to New Haven, 
where he remained till his death, October 14, 1827, aged seventy- 
one years. He had six children by his first two wives and ten 
by the third. One daughter was wife of Elder Henry Baldwin. 

The following incident was given on the authority of one 
of his daughters in the Vermont Observer, September 30, 1846: 

While traveling to meet his appointment he had occasion 
to pass a high bridge that was in a state of dilapidation and deemed 
unsafe. He, however, passed over in safety. On his return he 
had to repass it, but did not reach it until the darkness of night 
rendered his vision entirely useless. On approaching it his horse 
stopped. He urged it forward gently, but he soon stopped again. 
He was about to alight from his carriage when the animal moved 
gently forward, and he resumed his seat. He shortly arrived at 
an Inn, and the intense darkness induced him to put up for the 
night. His host inquired from what direction he came. He told 
him. His host replied he must be mistaken, for that was im- 
possible, the covering of the high bridge having been removed 
that afternoon. Subsequent explanation satisfied him of the fact. 
In the morning he returned to the bridge and found it even so. 
The horse took one string piece and the wheels two others, and he 
came safely over. 



Chapter IX 
CHURCHES IN THE ADDISON ASSOCIATION GROUP 

Orwell 

Orwell was early a center of Baptist influence. At a confer- 
ence meeting held December 21, 1787, a little company of eleven 
Baptists voted to organize themselves as a Baptist church, which 
purpose they carried out a few days later. One of their number 
was Elnathan Phelps, and him they chose and ordained to be 
their pastor. Their union was wonderfully blessed. \Yithin a 
year from the date of their organization, they had ordained their 
minister, built a meeting-house, and increased their membership 
to seventy-hco. In the spring of 1790, a work of grace began, and 
a year later the membership had reached the number of one hun- 
dred and forty. Then serious dissensions arose and nineteen mem- 
bers withdrew and, uniting with seventeen others who had previous- 
ly withdrawTi, organized themselves into a separate body. The 
two bodies continued to hold separate meetings for six years, when 
a reconciliation was effected through the mediation of Elder 
Samuel Webster. Wounds were healed and eighty-seven mem- 
bers signed a new covenant and agreed to walk together, and to 
this number were added in subsequent j-ears fifty-seven others. 

In June, following, Elder Webster removed his family 
to Orwell and became pastor of the church. 

In 1709, the church complied with the request of a number 
of brethren and sisters,living in the toAms of Cornwall and Whiting, 
for letters of dismission to form the church in the town of Whiting. 
April 5, 1800, a number of brethren, living in Hampton, N. Y., 
were received into this church as a branch. September 15, 1804, 
Deacon Murray brought charge against the pastor, Webster, of 
falsehood and the trial resulted in his exclusion. The exclusion 



134 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

caused a division in the church and a part of it followed him, and 
together set up meetings which were continued for several years. 
The church from this time rapidly decreased in numbers, holding 
few meetings, the last of which was on the second day of March, 
1805. 

Before the close of that year, however, at a conference held in 
a schoolhouse in the north part of the tow^l, sixteen Baptists, nine 
men and seven women, united as a church, and were recognized as 
such June 18, 1806. For two years this little band maintained 
worship and the ordinance of the church, and then an awakening 
occurred and thirty-hrowere baptized. Again, in 1810, they were 
encouraged by the reception of twenty converts. Elder Peck was 
pastor till 1812, when he moved west. Isaac Sawyer succeeded 
him until 1816. The year 1815 was a fruitful one in which thirty- 
nine were baptized into the fellowship of the church. A few^ years 
of depression followed, in which the pulpit was supplied at inter- 
vals by Elders Spaulding and Ravelin, Isaac Fuller and Ephraim 
Sawyer. Robert Hastings was ordained pastor in 1826. During 
this year a large council convened, called by the church on recom- 
mendation of several Baptist ministers, to investigate certain 
charges preferred against the church by Abner Ames for neglecting 
to entertain his complaints against some of the brethren, — he 
having published a book in relation thereto. The church was 
exonerated from blame in the matter. Elder Hastings continued 
his relation about two years; and for two years the church was 
without pastor. In the years from 1830 to 1840 there were seasons 
of ingatherings and seasons of trouble. Edmund Greenough was 
ordained September 23, 1830, but was dismissed in April following. 
Aaron Angier united with the church in 1832 and was called to 
ordination in 1833. Thirty were baptized in 1833, mostly young 
people. Soon after, Leland Howard became pastor, followed l)y 
the venerable Elder John Ide in 1838. The church at that time 
numbered one hundred and fourteen. Thirty-six more were added 
in 1840. Elder Ide was dismissed at his own request, July 24, 
1842. A perceptible alienation of feeling had sprung up. A 
difficulty in which Orison S. Murray was concerned caused much 
division, and finally terminated in his exclusion. Difiiculties 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IX VERMONT 135 

multiplied and divisions increased, caused among other things by 
the Advent excitement, that doctrine having been embraced b\' 
many of the members, until finally the church was scattered like 
sheep upon a mountain not having any shepherd. The meetings 
were neglected, records silent, the members attending other meet- 
ings or neglecting the means of grace entirely, until 1848, when on 
the nineteenth day of August, after one or two preliminary meet- 
ings, the church united on a resolution to renew covenant. Elder 

B. Allen preached during this and the two succeeding years, one- 
fourth of the time; and others supplied occasionally. At the 
meeting in ISl'S, six only were willing to subscribe their names 
renewdng covenant. In 1853, the church numbered thirtij-tiro. 
J. W. Sawyer was pastor in 1854. That year their former beloved 
pastor, Aaron Angier, died. In 1855, they purchased a parsonage, 
remodelled their meeting-house and received eleven new members. 

C. D. Fuller and R. A. Hodge supplied a while, but the church 
declined under its difficulties and became extinct about 1867. 

Cornwall 

As early as ITO'-Z, Ephraim Sawyer had heard the call of God, 
and in response, had begun his work in humble ministries from 
house to house, among the friends he had made in the neighbor- 
hood of Fair Bridge, in Cornwall. In cottage meetings he met 
the people and told the Gospel story and preached the doctrines 
of grace. The people heard him gladly. They built a log school- 
house and made it a Bethel, where they ordained their preacher, 
and in increasing numbers attended his ministry. The pastor was 
a poor man, having met recent financial reverses. When not en- 
gaged in ministerial duties he and his intimate friend. Elder Henry 
Chamberlain, were making potash near Lemon Fair. The people 
contributed wool which the women carded, spun and wove and 
made their minister clothes, suitable for his public duties. They 
allowed him to traA'el far and wide through the region on e\'angelis- 
tic errands, and though these sometimes took him several weeks at 
a time from his own peoj)le, his church did not aj)pear to suffer 
loss but grew in numbers and influence. For more than nine years 



136 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

he continued his work here, and then removed to Granville, N. Y. 

The Cornwall church, though flourishing while meeting near 
the Fair, concluded to remove the meetings to West Cornwall, 
where they built a meeting-house in 1805, and the church at Lemon 
Fair was dissolved that it might be reorganized under the new 
name of the Cornwall Baptist church. 

From the resignation of Elder Sawyer until 1808, the church 
was without pastor. Then Henry Green came to them and was 
called by the society to settle with them. Mr. Green w^as a strong 
man, a bit eccentric, but an interesting and powerful preacher able 
to bring men to conviction and consecration. For twelve years 
he led this people with remarkable success. From a membership 
of sixty-five, the church grew under his ministrations till it num- 
bered two hundred and twenty-five. 

But Elder Green grew old, and there were some in the church 
who "desired a change." They magnified his faults and lessened 
his influence till he resigned his position, much to the grief of 
many of the people. Division in the church was the natural result. 
He, however, retained his interest in the church, and often in after 
years, supplied them when they were in need. It was hard to flnd 
a satisfactory successor. Said an earlier chronicler, "The flre that 
had been kindled at the removal of Elder Sawyer had not gone 
out, and the smoke and cinders annoyed his successors and their 
stay was short." B. N. Leach was ordained in 1825. Reuben 
and Isaac Sawyer, Elder Case, George B. Ide and others, rendered 
temporary service. J. K. Wright and Amzi Jones were ordained 
in 1832. None continued to preach more than two years. In the 
interval between 1845 and 1860, it can hardly be said that they had 
a stated minister. In 1862, their old meeting-house was thoroughly 
remodelled at a cost of about two thousand dollars. The same 
year thirty -flve were added to the membership. W. L. Palmer 
was then pastor. W. L. Palmer continued pastor till 1870. Rev. 
A. W. Eastman the next pastor, (1873), was expelled within the 
year. Rev. T. H. Archibald supplied from 1874 to 1876, and was 
followed in 1878, by Rev. I. P. Kellogg, 1878-1880. Ahira Jones 
was pastor from 1880 until his death in 1885. Ahira Jones was 
born in Cornwall and was a son of Deacon Amzi Jones. In 1836, he 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 137 

graduated from Waterville College, bearing the second honor of his 
class. His first pastorate was at Saco, Maine. In 185-i, he re- 
turned to Vermont as missionary agent for the Vermont Baptist 
State Convention, prosecuting that work with great energ>^ and 
success for five years. Subsequently he w^as pastor of churches 
in Colchester, Jericho and West Cornwall. He was a wise counsel- 
lor, a tireless worker and a successful agent and pastor. He died 
at the parsonage in West Cornwall, December 11, 1884, aged 
seventy-six years. 

Rev. A. A. Cambridge was next pastor 1890-1891. |From 
that time till 1900 the church had no pastor, and sustained preach- 
ing services but a portion of the time. Then, wath the backing of 
the State Convention, Rev. Guy C. Lamson became pastor and 
the parsonage w as repaired and the church took on new life. He 
remained about two years and was succeeded by Rev. Clement 
Tomlin for one year, and by Rev. T. A. How^ard for five years, 
1908-1908. 

Since 1908, the church has been pastorless and has failed to 
report to the Association. Membership last reported was twenty- 



Panton 

On the Fourth of July, 1794, an event occurred in the little 
village of Panton, which added to Independence Day a sacred 
historical association. On that day a Baptist church was formed 
under impressive circumstances. Sherman Babcock, a licentiate 
from Kingsbury, N. Y., had been holding meetings in private 
dwellings and in the schoolhouse. Some of his hearers had (re- 
ceived the word with gladness and wanted to be baptized. They 
sent to Washington County for Elder Amasa Brown, the nearest 
Baptist minister, who came, listened to the young converts' chris- 
tian experiences and bai)tized them in Cham])lain. These, with 
their leader, Mr. Babcock, constituted the Panton Baptist church. 
Their names were Sherman Babcock, Elisha Grandy, Abner Hol- 
comb, Zadoc Knapp, Samuel Shepherd, Salome Grandy, Midwell 
Holcomb, Mary Ferris and Mary Shepherd. Elisha Grandy was 



138 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

chosen clerk. In 1799, Henry Chamberlain was ordained first 
pastor of the church, first settled minister in the to^wai. His 
pastorate continued five years. We have only the briefest annals 
of the years that followed, years of mingled joy and trouble. Fre- 
quent conversions and accession of members, frequent cases of 
discipline kept the minds of the members busy. In 1810, they 
dedicated their meeting-house. Abel Wood was pastor in 1811 
and until 1816. The church then numbered ninety-three. For 
the next ten years there was steady decline. Jeremy H. Dwyer, 
H. Chamberlain, John Stearns and William Myrick served short 
terms as pastors. Then came the great revival of 1831, when 
sixty-one were added by baptism and others by letter, and one 
hundred and thirteen w^as the number of members. John A. 
Dodge was pastor during this ingathering. 

J. Tenbroek was one of the converts he baptized, one destined 
to be of great usefulness in this and other churches. In 1854, he 
was licensed to preach, and began in his home church. The next 
year he was ordained pastor. For some ten years he ministered 
with great success, and the church attained its maximum strength 
of one hundred and sixty-nine members in 1840. Then the tide 
began to ebb; W. W. Moor, E. E. Mills and even J. Tenbroek 
were not able to stay it. These were the days of the Advent 
excitement when all the churches suffered. J. P. Huntington, H. 
S. P. Warren and Isaac Sawyer followed one another in the pastor- 
ate, the tide steadily ebbing, till thirty-seven was the number 
remaining. Then for a little while came increase under the leader- 
ship of H. H. Parker, followed by steady decline till in 1890, the 
church ceased to report to the Association for a decade, though 
maintaining its organization. 

In 1901, Rev. S. H. Meyers came to the little church, backed 
by the State Convention with an annual appropriation of about 
one hundred and fifty dollars, and gave seven years of patient, 
wise ministry, under which the church doubled its membership. 
Since 1908, the pastors of the church in Vergennes, H. T. Slocum 
and Geo. Pomfrev, have taken the Panton church under their care. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 139 

MONKTON 

This church began its work in 1794, under the care of Elder 
Joseph Call, of Cambridge. The constituent members were 
Ephraim Page, Ezbon Fuller, Ashbel Fuller, Isaac SaA\yer, Ebene- 
zer Stearns, Lydia Fuller, Hannah Brant, who were baptized by 
Elder Call, and Rachel Sterns, who had previously been baptized. 
Of these original nembers, Isaac Sawyer was a recognized leader. 
He was first appointed church clerk and also chosen to lead the 
devotional meetings in the absence of the pastor. In 1797, he was 
appointed deacon, the next year licensed to preach, and in 1799, 
was ordained pastor, — the first regular pastor of the church, and 
the first ordained settled minister in the town. The church in- 
creased with a gradual increase during the pastorate, which con- 
tinued for fourteen years. During this period two churches w^ere 
constituted of members dismissed from this church for that pur- 
pose, the church in Charlotte, nineteen members, in May 1807, and 
the church in Hinesburg, eighteen members. In 1810, Elisha 
Collins and John Stearns were licensed to preach. 

A meeting-house was erected in 1811. The next year Sawyer 
resigned and removed to Fairfield, Yt. Nathaniel Kendrick was 
the next pastor, and during the two years of his labor the church 
passed through sad scenes on account of a prevalent sickness of 
great mortality. Ephraim Butler was pastor, 1818-1821; Peter 
Chase, 1821-1824; H. J. Hall, 1828-1830. P. E. Fish was licensed 
in 1830, A. Lawrence in 1833 and M. M. Dean in 1834, A. Kings- 
bury in 1837. These licentiates supplied fre(|uently as circum- 
stances required. M. D. Miller was ordained pastor. M. M. 
Dean was also ordained in this church. From 1843 till 18.32, the 
church nearly lost its visibility, having no pastor and holding no 
church meetings. In 1852, however, Zenas Jones came for their 
encouragement, and the following year Elder E. Smith gave his 
whole time to the church, and the church put on strength and 
doubled its membership, and repaired its house of worship. In 
1867, Ekler I. P. Kellogg became pastor and for ten years shep- 
herded the little flock. Then for several years the church was 
again practically pastorless most of the time, till 1885, when I. P. 



140 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

Kellogg again became pastor, retaining that relation for fifteen 
years, resigning in 1901. After his resignation the church was 
supplied two or three years by Pastors Kinzie, of Bristol, and 
Safford, of Hinesburgh. Since 1904, the name of the church has 
disappeared from the minutes and the church is reckoned extinct 
after a life of one hundred and ten years. 

Shoreham 

The Shoreham Baptist church was recognized June 2, 1794, 
and consisted of fifteen members to which others were soon added. 
Abel Woods was chosen its first pastor and ordained February 
26, 1795. The first deacon was Eli Smith, who was chosen to 
stand on trial until the church should get satisfied. Four years 
later he was confirmed in his office. During the winter of 1795, 
there was special interest and sixteen were ''brought into liberty.''' 
In 1810, there was another revival and frequent additions. Elder 
Woods closed his labors as pastor that year and was succeeded by 
Ephriam Sawyer, 1810-1814, and by Elder John Spaulding, 1815. 
In 1817, the church in Ticonderoga was set off, and not far from this 
time a branch church was formed at Pitts Creek, which appears 
to have been the source of the church at Crown Point. Elder 
Spaulding was dismissed in 1819 and was succeeded by Elder 
Ravlin, in 1810, Elder Henry Chamberlain in 1823, and Elder 
Storers in 1832, who appears to have been their last settled minis- 
ter. The whole number of members that were connected with 
this church during its existence was not far from three hundred 
and fifteen. Many of these were noble men and would have been 
an ornament in any society. They were men of character leaning 
decidedly to firmness, but without the dogmatic element. For 
several years Deacon Eli Smith and Brother Hopkins Rowley 
bore a large share of the burdens of public duties. The place of 
meeting was at first in private dwellings and afterwards in a school- 
house. It does not appear that they ever had a meeting-house. 
The members generally lived between the center of the town and 
the lake, and the meetings would be on one side of them if held 
at the center. Had the church adopted the policy of a central 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 141 

location, it is possible that it might have maintained its existence. 
But like many other churches it did not feel that it could remove 
the meetings so far from them, and the result was that they did 
not exert so wide an influence in the town as it appears they might. 
The first clerk, Timothy Page, died in 1810, and left the reputation 
of a great man in Israel. Deacon Eli Smith, the first deacon, was 
also an able man; Rev. Eli B. Smith was the son of Joseph Smith. 
He joined the church in 1817, graduated at Middlebury College 
in 1827 or 1828, was successively pastor at Buffalo and Poultney, 
Vt,; was called to the professorship of theology in the New Hamp- 
ton Institution and died in Colchester, Vt. Professor Smith was 
a man of gTeat administrative ability, a sound theologian, a clear 
and vigorous writer. He left his impression on the generation in 
which he lived. Elder Abel Woods, who served them seventeen 
years, was annoyed by a controversy over the ministerial lands, 
which were rightfully his as the first settled minister, but which 
the town sought to divide between other denominations, and 
finally to take from Mr. Woods altogether, but were defeated. 

The first intimations of salary are contained in a record that 
refers to the obligation of the church to pay a man they had 
hired to work for Elder Woods. Afterwards the salary was 
twenty-five dollars a year, then forty dollars and finally sixty 
dollars. The records of the church are very full and accurate 
until 1826, but after this little is recorded till 1832, when the record 
closes. About the year 1815, members began to take letters to 
other churches, and the tide of emigration that had formerly favored 
the church turned against it until it was a common thing to dis- 
miss several members nearly every month. It is said the church 
ceased to exist. It might be said it moved aivay, some of it to heaAen, 
but a large number to other parts of the earth, first. It proved the 
parent of at least two other churches, and its members removing to 
other places materially assisted many more. 

An unhappy division marred the peace of this church a few 
of the last years of its existence. One of the deacons was dissatis- 
fied in some way and so became a leader of a party that insisted on 
removing the meetings to the center of the town. A council that 
considered the matter gave a decision both wise and clear. They 



Hi^ HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

decided that the attempt of the minority to remove the meeting 
was wrong, since majorities should govern, but also that the 
majority ought to remove the meeting to the center of the town. 
The meeting was remoA^ed to the academy hill a portion of the 
time, but the division had become so serious that it materially 
weakened the church. 

Bristol 

The early history of the Bristol church has been more fully 
written than that of many others and is perserved in the minutes 
of the Addison Association for 1854. It reads like the record of 
April days, sunshine and showers in quick alternation, now and 
then a June-like day followed by a storm, but all the while the 
plants of God were growing. The earliest days were beautiful. 
Elder Joseph Call and two of his friends, Silas Smith and Thomas 
Tuttle, came down one day from Cambridge, and a small company 
assembled to hear him ])reach. Among his hearers were nine 
who had already found Christ, and after the sermon they confessed 
him, gave satisfactory evidence of conversion, and were baptized 
by Elder Call. Their names were Timothy Allen, Phineas Rugg, 
Daniel Dean, Johnson Allen, Asa Smith, Anna Day, Margaret 
Smith, Polly Rugg, Esther Allen. Three days later, August 10, 
n94', these, with Elizabeth Day and Elizabeth Sutton, covenanted 
together as a church and chose Timothy Allen, deacon, and Asa 
Smith, scribe. Several others desired baptism at the next coven- 
ant meeting, September 18, and the church sent Daniel Dean 
through the wilderness to Pittsford to secure the services of Elder 
Joseph Rich, who came and administered the ordinance. The 
church adopted very brief and simple rules, providing for monthly 
covenant meetings, attendance of all members, orderly proceedings 
under a moderator's government, etc. The seventh article was, 
"No member shall go out of doors on any unnecessary occasion." 

The church had no settled pastor for many years. They were 
visited at intervals by such pious, helpful men as Roswell Mears, 
Henry Chamberlain, Ephraim and Isaac SaAvyer, who baptized 
and administered the Lord's Supper. Their numbers increased 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 143 

by baptisms and emigration. When no minister was present the 
brethren sustained their own meetings under "leaders" who were 
regularly appointed by the church. This custom was continued 
for a long period and aided materially in preserving its visibility. 
About 1805, among the new comers was one Asa Palmer, who was 
received on letters of recommendation from seven churches, of 
which he had been a member. They appointed him deacon. He 
was ambitious to preach, but the church "after discussion, voted 
that his improvement was not edifying doctrinally." Soon after 
he withdrew from his office as deacon, became estranged from his 
brethren, brought charges against the church for employing an 
unconverted man to lead the singing, and for reading sermons 
written by collegians to the neglect of the exhortations of the 
brethren, etc., and finally withdrew from the church, joined the 
Quakers and became an active leader among them, greatly dis- 
turbing the church. In 1807, Deacon Timothy Allen embraced 
the doctrines of the Universalists and was cut off, and the church 
was plunged in gloom for a time. But in 1810, came a brighter 
day. Several sisters who could not go up through the "Notch" 
from the "Flats" began holding meetings for conference in their 
homes. They read the scriptures and exhorted but "did not know 
as sisters could pray in public," to use the language of one of them. 
Soon after inquirers were directed to this almost unknown prayer 
meeting for spiritual guidance, and there a work of grace began 
that spread through the town and bore fruit, that long remained. 
Robert Holley, Amos Eastman, Michael Dayfoot, and associates, — 
firm supporters of Universalisra, — came forward, and a score of 
others, and were baptized by Elders Sawyer, Green and Babcock. 
Timothy Allen then returned with bitter tears of repentance. 
These were times of joy and hope. But within a short time the 
church was troubled with causes for disciplinary action. In 1811, 
they first began to raise money by subscription for preaching. 
Twenty-eight men subscribed the sum of thirty-five dollars. This 
they paid out to several ministers, in sums from one shilling to one 
dollar as the cases demanded. Two methods of raising funds were 
tried, neither of them fully successful. The subscription method 
proved inadequate, and the assessment method irritating. The 



144 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

natural result was financial stringency and a fluctuating ministry. 

Amos Stearns, a man of piety and promise, came to Bristol 
from Monkton and united with the church. He preached so accept- 
ably that he was licensed and brought the church into harmonious 
union. In 1818, a ministers' meeting was to be held in Bridport, and 
a committee was sent with the request to have Mr. Stearns examined 
by them and to ask their advice as to his fitness for ordination. 
They advised ordination and their advice was followed. Previous 
to ordination, however, the church appointed a committee to meet 
a committee of the town and arrange all questions concerning the 
Glebe lands. They voted in church meeting "that Brother 
Stearns be ordained in such a way as to hold the Ministerial Right 
and deed the same to the town for the use of schools forever; and 
leave it to the generosity of the town to give Mr. Stearns what 
they see fit as compensation for securing the land to the town." 
This proposal they sent by a committee to a town meeting held 
for the purpose. They thus magnanimously disposed of a claim 
that had been a fruitful source of discord in the State. The town 
voted to give Mr. Stearns six years' use of the land and a hundred 
dollars in money; a part of which he invested in a meeting-house. 
At the time of Mr. Stearns' settlement, the church numbered 
forty-four. The whole number who had been members during 
the twenty -four years of its history were one hundred and eight. 
Forty-one had left, six had died, sixteen had been excluded. The 
church united, in the year 1819, with the Congregationalists and 
Universalists in building a meeting-house. It was called the 
White House. Each denomination was to occupy it in proportion 
to the amount of stock set to their credit. During 1820, the pastor 
preached half the time in the White Meeting-House and one-fourth 
on the East Hill. 

In 1824, Elder David Hendee was employed and continued 
pastor till 1831. The discovery was made that he had been a 
Mason, and although he avoided all association with the obnoxious 
fraternity, yet he did not denounce it with sufiicient energy to 
satisfy many, and he was brought before a council, and although 
this exonerated the pastor of blame, and somewhat censured both 
parties in the church, yet its disapproval of Masonry was positive, 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 145 

and the pastorate soon ended. W. W. Moore was ordained in 
June, 1834, and the church seemed to have entered upon an era of 
prosperity, but Mr. Moore thought it best to go at the end of a 
year, and shipped his goods to northern New York. The church 
prevailed upon him to remain and his goods were brought back. 
A meeting was held soon after for sixteen days and fifty came 
forward for baptism during a single month. Mr. Moore was re- 
tained three years. The last year was less successful than the 
first and it is recorded that "The result was that the closing busi- 
ness arrangements were discordant, and the farewell sermon 
distasteful." A. Kingsbury followed Mr. Moore and served two 
years. 

In 1842, Elder E. Hurlbut was secured as pastor and began 
work under favorable circumstances, many coming forward for 
baptism. Then came the Millerite excitement. Mr. Miller had 
lectured here and his sentiments had taken root. The minister 
favored the first period prophesied, and withdrew. The church 
became divided and violently discordant. The Comeouters, as 
they were called, were specially offensive in their denunciation of 
their brethren, who differed ^dth them. Finally nineteen were 
excluded. Richard Amsden was pastor from 1845 to 1847, when 
Elder C. W. Dodge was secured, who soon afterward sickened and 
died, deeply lamented by all. 

For a time deep depression paralyzed the members, meetings 
were forsaken and hope seemed abandoned. But in June, 1852, 
A. A. Sawin was employed, hopes revived, and confidence was 
restored. The church reported eighty-four members in 1854, at 
its semi-centennial. 

P. C. Himes was pastor, 1857-1858; N.J. Pinkham, 1859-1884; 
T. H. Archibald, 1866-1873; L. B. Hibbard, 1875; S. Small, 1879; 
W. D. Hall, 1877-1887; I. W. Coombs, 1882-1884; P. B. Strong, 
1885-1886; S. E. Miller, 1888; G. A. Smith, 1889; B. F. Kellogg, 
1891-1894; W. A. Kinzie, 1895-1902; S. P. Perry, 1903-1906;!. E. 
Usher, 1908-1910; E. M. llolman, 1911. Under these pastors the 
church prospered and gradually gained in strength and mem- 
bers, attaining in 1902, its highest mark, one hundred and fifty-one. 
Membership in 1912, one hundred and forty. 



146 history of the baptists in vermont 

x\ddison 

The name of the x\ddison church has been on the roll of Ver- 
mont Baptist churches since 1797. The birth of the church at 
that time was largely due to the house to house evangelism of 
Elders Henry Chamberlain and Ephraim Sawyer, the intimate 
friends, who burnt forest refuse and made potash near Lemon 
Fair Bridge, Cornwall. Elder Phelps, and probably others, did 
pioneer work. October 25, 1797, twelve Baptists covenanted to- 
gether, in the house of Noah Wilson. Their names will be precious 
to any of their descendants. They were James Doran, Seth 
Abbott, John White, Leathan Clark and Sisters Keziah Seegar, 
Eunice Clarke, Sarah Abbott, Comfort White, Chloe Squire, Polly 
Wilson, Mehitabel Morley, and Betsy Spencer. These signed a 
short covenant, one clause of which confessed faith in what is 
called "the Calvinistic doctrine of sovereign grace." Some dis- 
satisfaction was felt over the word "Calvinistic" and it was changed 
to "Apostolic." Another article which was afterward added is 
worthy of mention; it was as follows: "If any member shall 
have a difficulty with any minister or member in relation to their 
principles or practice, if they tell it to any other person before they 
have tried in a Gospel manner to reclaim them, if the church cannot 
reclaim them (i. e., the one who has the difficulty and told of it), 
they ought to be expelled as disturbers of the peace of the church." 

The original members were descendants of Puritan stock of 
Massachusetts, or of the Dutch that settled near New York, and 
are said to have been intellectually, physically, morally strong men. 
Samuel Rogers was their first pastor, and as the first settled minis- 
ter in town, became proprietor of the Ministerial Rights in land, 
which, when he left the place, he deeded to the Congregational 
church and to the Baptist, one-half to each. In discipline this early 
church was thorough, kind and successful. On several occasions 
it labored with and cut off the prominent members. The sins of 
men of property could not go unrebuked. The trials of the church 
in its efforts to maintain correct discipline were the cause of some 
very dark days, but often they were followed by days of bright- 
ness. It is a matter of record that almost every revival was pre- 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 147 

ceded by a season of darkness. The years 1805, 1806, and 1807 
were years of trial and discouragement, but the cloud passed, and 
one hundred and twenty-three were added to the church. Painful 
disciplinary action preceded the revivals of 1811 and 1817, when 
more than a hundred were added; and the same fact is true of 
other later revivals. 

In 1811, the church began to plan for the erection of a meeting- 
house, but there were three eligible sites proposed, the people 
divided into factions over these, and the meeting-house was not 
built till 1817, and the ill feeling engendered over the enterprise 
was long in heahng. 

The church was almost unanimous in its positive opposition 
to the principles of Freemasonry, and a violent excitement was 
aroused, about 1828, over the fact that a member of a lodge had 
gained church membership, notwithstanding the moderator's 
cautious call, "if anyone has anything against the candidate let 
him manifest it now or forever keep silent in relation to it." The 
outcome was that all Masons left the church of their own accord or 
were compelled to leave. 

The Advent excitement in this church was equally fierce. 
Mr. Miller lectured in the place and won followers, who became 
schismatics, and after patient labor twenty-seven were excluded 
in 1827. These trials retarded the growi:h of the church. 

In 1816, its membership was reported as sixty-six. Abel 
Woods was then pastor. The next year, under phenomenal 
spiritual influence, it sprung to one hundred and seventy-four. 
The years following were comparatively barren, till 1826, when 
fourteen were added. This hardly checked the decline till 1831, 
when four successive revival years brought the membership to 
one hundred and eighty-seven, its highest mark. In the years 
1842, 1850 and 1851 there were additions, but the decline con- 
tinued till the unhapj)y year 1856, when thirty-four were dismissed, 
and the membership became sixty. Since then the number of 
members has fluctuated between fifty and eiglity. During the 
last five years the tide of prosperity and power has l)eeii on the 
rise and the total membersliip, in 1912, was eighty-fixc. 



148 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

During the first fifty-seven years of its history this church had 
been served by twenty ministers, the pastorates averaging less 
than two j^ears each. The names of these pastors John Rogers, 
John Hayward, Nathaniel Kendrick, E. Starkweather, Abel Woods, 
John S. Carter, Seth Ewers, Aristarchus Willey, L. Austin, Alanson 
Covell, Elias Hurlbut, Wm. Stoors, Burton Carpenter, H. F. 
Davis, Robert Bryant, Israel Keach, C. E. Miles, M. D. Miller, 
P. C. Himes, J. Q. U. A. Ware. 

Since 1867, there have been at least twelve pastors : E. Good- 
speed, E. D. Craft, L. Wheelock, R. Nott, E. Bullard, now 
missionary in India, T. H. Archibald, T. F. Ogden, John Pearson, 
Guy C. Lamson, H. H. White, G. L. Powell and C. T. Reekie. 

Whiting 

The Whiting Baptist church was constituted of members of 
the church in Orwell, and accordingly traces its origin under God 
to those two well-known servants of God, Ephraim Sawyer and 
Henry Chamberlain, who carried their Bibles with them to their 
work as constantly as they did their axes, read and chopped alter- 
nately, and spent time in meditation and prayer as far as practic- 
able. Often an hour or two before sunset they met the people, 
during the summer and autumn seasons, for religious services, and 
out of these came the churches. The Whiting church was set off 
and recognized February 25, 1799, with ten members: Ezra Allen, 
Josiah Stone, Ashael Fields, Elisha Fields, Thomas McNeil, Elijah 
Kirkham, Jr., Joanna Wiswell, Sarah Stone, Rachel Beach, Sarah 
Ketcham. The first settled pastor was David Rathbun, whose 
pastorate began April 26, 1799. October 4, 1799, the church voted 
to bear Elder Rathbun's extra expense for liquor for himself and 
family, and to have it averaged on the members of the church. 
What other provision was made for the supply of his needs and 
comfort we do not know. This record is well worth preserving 
as a help in noting the progress in moral reform, specially in the 
temperance movement. 

In the first sixty years of its history the church had the follow- 
ing named pastors: David Rathbun, Samuel Churchill, John 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 149 

Stearns, I. W. Sawyer, Isaac Wescott, W. G. Johnson, Volney 
Clark, Barna Allen and Stephen ^Yright; nine in number. 

Up to 1858, the greatest number of members in the church at 
any one time was in 1840, when it numbered one hundred and 
twenty-five. The greatest number added by baptism, in any one 
year, was twenty-six, in 1836. There had been eleven revivals, 
averaging one in every five years. There had been added to the 
church up to that time by baptism, two hundred and twenty-four; 
by letter eighty-four; exclusions had been twenty-eight ; dropped, 
three; died, forty-eight. The total membership was forty-eight. 
J. Q. A. Ware was pastor from 1859 to 1864, R. L. Smith from 
1866 to 1878, the membership averaging about sixty during this 
period. During the last two decades of the nineteenth century, 
W. H. Mawhew, Jos. Freeman, G. C. Shirk and R. L. Verry served 
short pastorates, and L. Kenney one of seven years. J. W. Ilsley 
followed with a two years' pastorate; H. H. White, three. T. A. 
Howard became pastor in 1903. The State Convention has 
generously assisted in maintaining the church. In 1911, the 
Baptist church federated with the Congregational church, with T. 
A. Howard as pastor, the services being held six months in one 
meeting-house, and six months in the other. The membership 
reported in 1912 was twenty-eight. 

Waltham 

A Baptist church was organized in Waltham at a schoolhouse 
in the west district May 7, 1802, and recognized by a council, 
March 10, 1803; ordained Jesse Smith its first pastor, June 30, 
1803, and dismissed him to anotlier church the following December. 
Elder Samuel Rogers followed, 1804, and remained till March, 
1806. Elder John Howard then commenced a pastorate of 
eleven years, which proved to the church years of blessing. 
June 27, 1827, Elias Hurlbut, a licentiate of the church, was or- 
dained pastor and labored six years with good success. Elder J. 
K. Wright was pastor from January, 1831, to Janiuiry. 1839, nmch 
to the prosperity and satisfaction of the church. Elder Increase 
Jones followed him with a four years' pastorate, at the close of 



150 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

which he went out with a number of the members to join tlie 
Adventists. Ira Bently was ordained pastor, August 12, 1843, 
but continued only a short time. S. P. Warren, a licentiate, was 
ordained March 23, 1848, and he too made but a brief stay. E. 
W. Allen began leadership in 1858. 

The Advent excitement greatly reduced the ranks of the 
church, and, in 1860, there were but four men and fifteen women 
members. 

The name of the church was changed by vote of the church, 
September 17, 1817, to The New Haven and Weybridge church. 
The church became extinct in 1876. 

• 
Rupert 

Elder Warren, of Salem, labored here one-fourth of the time 
from 1794 to 1797, and other ministers occasionally. A church of 
thirty-three members was organized in 1803, and Alvin Wales was 
ordained pastor. A very extensive and powerful revival attended 
his ministry, and a large number were added to the church. In 
1804, the membership was one hundred and two. Elder Wales 
left in 1809. Rev. Werden P. Reynolds became pastor in 1813. 
Twenty-one were baptized in 1815, and fifty-three in 1817, and 
ten received by letter. In 1818, fifteen new members were re- 
ceived and the total membership became one hundred and seventy- 
two. Declension followed. Some of the members became Camp- 
bellites. In 1830, when Elder Wait became pastor, the church 
was reduced to about thirty members. But the Spirit was again 
poured out. In the spring of 1831, Daniel Mattison, a young man 
of dissolute habits and skeptical opinions, given to profanity and 
intemperance, astonished the church by telling a christian experi- 
ence and retjuesting baptism. Mr. IVIattison convinced the most 
incredulous of his sincerity and of the genuineness of his conver- 
sion. He manifested much zeal in religion and was quite useful. 
This case, as might be expected, created quite a sensation. Not 
long after, the church commenced a protracted meeting which was 
greatly blessed. The power of God w^as manifest in the conversion 
of many. Among those who were baptized as the fruit of this 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 1.51 

revival were Milo Frary, Horace F. Davis and Daniel Mattison, 
all of whom entered the ministry. Daniel Mattison died at ^Nlere- 
dith Village, N. H., after a brief but eminently useful ministry. 
About this time Elder E. S. Soulard united with this church. He 
had formerly been a Methodist preacher. Elder Linus J. Rey- 
nolds was licensed by this church in IS'io. Elder Wait continued 
in the pastorate four years, and was followed by Elder G. W. Free- 
man. In 1841, the church numbered eighty-four. The year 
previous it had taken down its old meeting-house and erected a 
new one, on the same site. Up to 1818, the church had been con- 
nected wuth the Vermont Association. For some reason its name 
does not appear again in the minutes of that Association. In 
1848 it united with the Shaftsbury Association, and under its 
name in the digest of letters is this quaint report: "The church 
in Rupert report themselves to the Shaftsbury Association this 
year, for the first time. Having learned the necessities of this 
body, and having respect to its age as well as its feebleness, they 
have kindly come to cast in their lot with us. They record, ^^-ith 
devout thanksgiving, the merciful dealings of Divine Providence 
with them during their history as a church. They call to mind 
great deliverances, and their hopes are enkindled when they think 
of all God has done for them. Their congregation on the Sabbath 
is full. Instead of a Sabbath school they have an exercise in Bible 
study on Sabbath evening, which most of the congregation join. 
They say 'our sympathies are with the various objects of benevol- 
ence sustained by the denominations.' " 

The next year (1849), Elder A. Harvey had resigned, and 
Rev. N. Combs was preaching for them. The Association met 
with them that year. In 1850, they were without a pastor and, 
owing to the sparseness of the population, they were having 
difficulty in sustaining the Sunday school. They assembled 
regularly to read the Scriptures, and to exhort and pray. In 18.50, 
they were still destitute of a yjastor, and sent only a \erbal report 
to the Association; the membership was seventy-eight. This was 
the last report given to the As.sociation . The church tloubtless 
became extinct not long afterwards. 



152 history of the baptists in vermont 

Bridport 

On March 8, 1804, four brethren and four sisters, who had 
latelj^ been baptized, entered into covenant to maintain the 
forms and obhgations of a distinct church, and were duly 
recognized as the Baptist church in Bridport. The revival 
of which this was one of the fruits, was due to the preaching 
of Elders Samuel Rogers, Henry Chamberlain, Abel Woods and 
other ministers, who visited and labored with this people. At the 
first meeting of the church twenty-two Baptists, resident in the 
vicinity, united with them by letter, and Cabell Smith was chosen 
clerk. A meeting-house was soon erected of which the Congrega- 
tionalists owned one-third and the Baptists two-thirds. Elder 
Chamberlain was chosen pastor in 1806, and continued to serve 
till 1812, when Elder Elisha Starkweather took up the work and 
served four years. At this time a parsonage and farm was pur- 
chased, which the minister was to own if he occupied it, and 
applied in payment all of his salary for a certain time. Embar- 
rassed by this property, the prospects of the church for a time 
declined and it had but occasional preaching by Elder Chamberlain. 
In 1815, a Baptist Female Society was organized with thirty-three 
members. In 1820, the church united with the Methodists in 
erecting a meeting-house at the village for the accommodation of 
members of the church in Addison and Cornwall living near, who 
would bear most of the expense and bring large accessions of 
strength. About this time, Elder Ravlin and Elder Ephraim 
Sawyer supplied alternately. 

In 1821, there was a general awakening, and forty were added 
to the church. Jonathan Merriam was next pastor, ordained 
January 29, 1825. Mr. Merriam's work was distinctively educa- 
tional. He believed, to use his own terms, "that mental and moral 
cultivation must go hand in hand if we are to raise up an intelligent, 
consistent and active race of christians." By his efforts a Sunday 
school and Bible class was organized, the first in the town, and to 
this work he gave special attention with marked success. In the 
winter of 1829, under very deep convictions as to his responsibility 
for souls, Mr. IVIerriam gave himself to prayer and labor to the 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 153 

limit of his strength, and had the pleasure of seeing the church 
quickened and some fifty converted, of whom twenty-eight were 
baptized. The Masonic excitement, which was intense at that 
time, hmited the extent of this revival. Mr. Merriam, with the 
consent of the church, traveled extensively in 1831, as the Mission- 
ary agent of the American Sunday School Union, but resumed his 
church work in December, after a somewhat protracted sickness. 

A protracted meeting was held in the fall of 1831, and resulted 
in a general revival. Mr. Merriam baptized sixty converts. In 
seven years he baptized one hundred and twelve, and had the joy 
of seeing the church walking in harmony, growing in intelligence 
and christian philanthropy, and warmly supporting the principle 
of temperance in the infancy of its mission in the State. 

In 1833, he removed, and his place was supplied by Elders 
Kimball, Fletcher, Green and Harvey successively. Meanwhile an 
active emigration reduced the church to forty -four members, and 
projjortionably lessened the size of the congregation and of the 
Sunday school. 

In 1837, Elder E. D. Towtis was ordained, and labored for a 
time with some success. About 1849, the prospects of the church 
appeared so dark that several meetings were held in which the 
wisdom of disbanding was considered. The final result of these 
prayerful inquiries was a unanimous resolve, "that we would re- 
main aboard Zion's ship and try to keep her planks together in this 
place a few years longer, until we were borne over the billows and 
anchored safely in the port of eternal rest. " About this time 
Elder J. K. Wright visited Bridport, and supplied the church half 
the time. They united in building a house of worship on the 
original site in the westerly part of the town. The membership 
at that time numbered sixty-two. The little church continued its 
walk some twenty years after its decision to keep together. Elder 
Wright served them eight years; C. R. Green, four; W. II. Blais- 
dell, three. Covenant and prayer meetings were sustained, often 
when there was no preaching. Two places of worship were kept 
up at times, but following the pastorate of Elder Blaisdell the 
church ceased .sending reports to the Association, and about 1875, 
became extinct. 



154 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 



Charlotte 

This church was organized in a private house in Charlotte, 
May 6, 1807. It consisted of nineteen members, who were dis- 
missed from the church in Monkton for this purpose. During 
the same season nineteen more were added by baptism and letter. 
In October, this church united with the Vermont Association con- 
vened in Bridport. Its first deacon was S. Gibbs; clerk, U. Palmer. 
Of its subsequent history, little is available more than the annals 
of its pastorates and a few items connected with them. Elder N. 
Dana was settled in 1808, and served two years. In 1810, Elisha 
Starkweather was ordained and remained several years. In 1817, 
John Howard was settled as pastor, when a brighter day began to 
dawn after seven years of trials, in which her membership dimin- 
ished nearly one-half. Artemas Arnold officiated from 1821 to 
1823. About this time Elder J. A. Dodge commenced labor with 
the church and continued with them for many years, when not other- 
wise supplied. In 1825, A. Covil was licensed to preach. In 1826, 
thirteen were added by baptism; among the number was Amos 
Clark, who afterward served the church as deacon. In 1828, 
Brother D. Tucker was chosen deacon. In 1831, Elder E. Mott 
accepted the pastorate and a revival season followed. In 1834, 
the church united with the Addison Association. In 1836, M. D. 
Miller preached half the time, and thirty-six were added to the 
church. Amos Clark was ordained as deacon, also Milo Fuller, 
from the church in Keeseville, was received and appointed deacon. 
M. Flint was pastor from 1837 to 1841. 

Charles Fuller was licensed in 1838. Elder J. Tenbroek began 
a very prosperous pastorate in 1841, continuing till 1845, during 
which time forty were added by baptism, and others by letter, 
bringing the membership to seventy -six. J. M. Driver succeeded 
him, serving till 1850; Lyman Smith, 1850-1854; E. W. Allen, 1856; 
J. A. Dodge, 1860; G. W. Bixby, 1861; L. Smith, 1862-1865; S. 
F. Dean, 1867-1868; A. Jones, 1869-1872; H. D. Hodge, 1873- 
1876; I. SuMryer, 1877-1878; C. A. Votey, 1879-1881; R. Nott, 
1884-1886; J. Freeman, 1888-1889; A. H. Murrav, 1890-1893; H. 




Ii.sLEY Memorial Baptist Church 

A gift to the Middlt'bury Baptist Church from Col. and Mrs. 
Silas A. Ilsley, in nit-niory of his father. Rev. Silas Ilsley. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 1.55 

T. Slocum, S. H. Carr, 1898-1905; T. R. Edwards, 1906; Thomas 
Davison, 1907-1911. Membership in 1912, thirty-seven. 

MiDDLEBURY 

The pioneer Middlebury church was organized in the court 
house, December 18, 1809. The churches represented in the 
council were Cornwall, New Haven, Shoreham and Monkton. 
The pastors: Henry Green, Lemuel Phelps, Abel Woods and Isaac 
Sawyer. 

Elder Nathaniel Kendrick became their pastor, continuing in 
that relation from December, 1810, till June, 1817. He enjoyed the 
confidence and respect of the community in a great degree, and 
during the seven and a half years of his pastorate over ninety 
members w^ere added to the church. But difiSculties arose which 
seemed to hinder his usefulness, and he removed from Middlebury, 
greatly to the loss of the church. Elder Isaac Bucklin succeeded 
him, but found it imjjossible to smooth perfectly the path of the 
brethren and sisters. Elder Henry Green took great interest in 
the church, and occasionally went from Cornwall to help them in 
their destitution. 

In October, 1826, the church became discoiu'aged, and called 
a council of sister churches to consider the propriety of disband- 
ing. The council met in the old Episcopal church. Elder Henry 
Green questioned each member separately, respecting religious 
feeling, daily walk, prayer and so forth. Of the five ministers 
composing the council, three favored disbanding the church, and 
two. Elders Green and Elias Hurlbut, opposed it. Elder Green 
pithily remarked that he believed that the child was alive, and he 
was opposed to burying it before it was dead; and he thanked God 
that there was one brother who thought with hmi. He said, "I 
feel that there is life in the church, and we ought to nourish it." 
Elder Hurlbut carried the case of the church to the (^onventioti ; 
assistance was obtained, and Elder Hart" was settled as pastor. 
The church revi^-ed courage, several were added, and a general 
api)earance of f)ros])erity was manifested. 

It reported a membershij) of ninety in 1843. but from tlutt 
time it declined, till in 1852, it became extinct. 



156 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

In 1879, thirty Baptists in Middlebury were organized into the 
present Middlebury church. Rev. Charles Hibbard was secured 
as pastor. Rev. T. H. Archibald became deeply interested in the 
enterprise of re-establishing Baptist interests in Middlebury. For 
many years the State Convention made liberal appropriations for 
its support. But the Baptist church seemed overshadowed by 
other churches, and its growth and pros}:)erity retarded by many 
apparently insuperable difficulties. Serious doubts were some- 
times entertained as to whether further expenditure of Convention 
funds on this field were wise. But whenever the question of 
abandoning the church was seriously considered there were always 
some who, like good old Henry Green, saw signs of life in the child 
and were not willing to bury it before it was dead. 

During Mr. Hibbard's pastorate, of about four years, a par- 
sonage was secured and paid for, and a new church edifice erected, 
and the church started on a hopeful career. In 1884, Rev. A. DeF. 
Palmer was secured as pastor. Two years later came a revival 
and ten were added by baptism, three by lerter and two by restora- 
tion, and the membership l>ecame fifty-seven. Mr. Palmer was 
succeeded, in 1889, by Rev. A. A. Cambridge, who remained three 
years, and was followed by Rev. T. G. Lyon. During this pastorate, 
a Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor of thirty-eight 
members was formed, and a Junior Society of twenty members, 
greatly increasing interest in the church. Mr. Lyon resigned in 
September, 1894, and was followedby Rev. D.W.Lyman, in 1896. 
Mr. Lyman resigned in May, 1897, and Mr. A. B. Potter was or- 
dained pastor in September, 1897. The years 1899 and 1900 were 
saddened by the death of the senior deacon, and the serious illness 
of the other deacon, and by the death of Mr. and Mrs. T. H. Archi- 
Ijald, who had for many years been deeply interested in the welfare 
of the church. Rev. E. O. Taylor was pastor from 1901 till 1905, 
when Rev. Geo. R. Stair was secured by the special efforts of 
Superintendent W. A. Davison. The church entered upon a re- 
markable period of progress. The attendance upon congregations 
greatly increased; the Sunday evening congregations numbered 
two hundred. The prayer meetings became deeply spiritual. 
The Lord put it into the heart of Col. Silas A. Ilsley to befriend 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 157 

the church. By his generosity the floating debt was cancelled; a 
thousand dollars given as an endowment; a Brussels carpet obtained; 
a parsonage given the church, valued at six thousand dollars; 
new hymnals furnished the church; and the pastor's salary in- 
creased from six hundred to one thousand dollars. Eighteen were 
added to the membership by baptism, and the next year thirteen 
more by baptism and otherwise, raising the membership to seventy- 
one. The prospects of the church were so encouraging, and Col. 
Ilsley's heart so moved, that he built a costly and attractive marble 
church edifice, on one of the most eligible sites in the place, as a 
memorial to his father. Rev. Silas Ilsley. All this was done abso- 
lutely unsolicited. Mr. Stair's pastorate continued prosperous. 
In 1907, he was assisted by Evangelist Hafer, and as a result of 
special effort, thirty -three were received by baptism, the member- 
ship becoming one hundred and six. In 1909, twenty -five per cent 
of the membership were heads of families. Mr. Stair became 
deeply interested in the Chapman-Alexander evangelistic services 
of 1809, and resigned to enter evangelistic work. Rev. A. E. 
Harriman was secured as his successor. Twenty-seven were 
added to the church that year. In 1910, the State Convention was 
entertained by the Middlebury church and had the delightful 
evidence of answers to the prayers of the faithful, and the satis- 
faction of knowing that the expenditure, through a series of years, 
of about ten thousand dollars on this field, had not been in vain. 
It was well that it did not become weary in this well doing. 

Mr. Harriman was succeeded, in 1910, by Rev. R. B. Esten. 

The Middlel)ury church re])orted in 191^2, a total membership 
of one hundred and twenty -three; resident members, eighty-four. 
Home expenses three thousand, four hutidred dollars. Contribu- 
tions, three hundred and thirty-nine dollars. Sunday school, 
one hundred and twenty-two members. Church property, sixty- 
nine thousand dollars. 

Ferrisburg 

A council met November 13, 1816, at the house of Ashbell 
Fuller in Ferrisburg, to take into consideration the propriety of 



158 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

organizing into a Gospel church a small band of believers, consist- 
ing of Brother J. P. Hyde, formerly member of the Essex and 
Jericho church, at whose request the council was called, with several 
others. On examination it was found that but four of the appli- 
cants for a council were members of other churches, the others were 
recent converts, the fruit of the occasional labors of Elders Cham- 
berlain, Howard and Butler. The council proceeded to examine 
these as candidates for baptism. Those presenting themselves 
were Moses Hinds, William Walker, Ashbell Fuller, Jr., John A. 
Dodge and Luther Carpenter. Sisters, Betsy Walker, Lucy Fuller, 
Seraih Fuller, Nelly Luce. These nine gave good evidence of 
regeneration and the council voted to receive them after baptism. 
They were accordingly baptized the next day, and with J. P. Hyde, 
P'red E. Fuller, and sisters Sally Fuller and Eleanor Clinton, were 
organized and acknowledged as a Baptist church. The church 
pros]>ered. Before the close of the year, twenty -three converts 
had been bajitized, and additions continued at frequent intervals. 
In March. 1817, Ephraim Butler was ordained pastor, and a com- 
mittee was appointed to secure a suitable place of worship near 
the center of the town. In 1818, many valuable members took 
letters and removed to other parts, and quite a number became 
the subject of church censure and discipline. 

At a covenant meeting in April, it was voted to give Brother 
J. P. Hyde and John A. Dodge "liberty to exercise their gifts in 
speaking for the edification of the church." Elder Butler, at his 
own request, was dismissed March 20, 1819. 

November, 1821, the church ordained John A. Dodge as 
pastor. He continued in office till 1838. Elder J. H. Wright suc- 
ceeded him. In June, 1841, the church, having secured an inter- 
est in the brick meeting-house at Ferrisburg Center, discontinued 
worship in the schoolhouse near James Hodge's and to the end of 
their existence as a church assembled in this place. 

In August, 1841, Theodore Lyman was elected the last clerk. 
Under the occasional labor of Elder Wright, the little band con- 
tinued to struggle on against fluctuating influences incident to 
time, until the work of emigration and death had so diminished 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 159 

their number that, in 1854, their existence as a church ceased. Their 
aggregate membership during a period of twenty-nine years was 
one hundred and nineteen, of which the greater part united by 
baptism. 




Col. Silas A. Ilsley 

Vice President of Convention l?( 



Chapter X 
REVIVALS 

The early history of the Baptists of Vermont is marked by 
many "seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord," by 
which christians were encouraged, and souls in large numbers "were 
added to the Lord." It has been truthfully said of our early 
ministers, "They went up and down our rivers and streams among 
the new settlements and small hamlets and had wonderful success. 
To follow them in their letters is like breathing the balm of the 
primeval forests through which they used to travel. There is an 
atmosphere of Apostolic piety and zeal about them. They endured 
labors and encountered difficulties hardly less than those which 
Judson and his companions overcame. The evangelization of 
Vermont is due to a consecration, and a missionary spirit identical 
in kind and equal in enthusiasm to that which sent Judson to 
Burma." 

In the year 1799, there was a very remarkable manifestation 
of renewing grace in the south western portion of this State. Of 
this, Rev. Caleb Blood, of Shaftsbury, gives an account in Backus' 
Church History of New England. 

In the early part of 1798, Mr. Blood was greatly affected 
by the low state of religion among the people and began to pray 
earnestly for the outpouring of the Spirit, and the salvation of 
souls. Soon was manifest an abundant answer to prayer. One 
was baptized in July, four in August, and seventeen in September. 
The good work went forward in power, -ind on February 21, 1799, 
he had baptized one hundred and fifty since the preceding May. 
The work was not confined to one church. All the churches in 
Shaftsbury were refreshed. In about two months after the work 
began the whole town was greatly revived. The churches in 
Shaftsburv' had not been in the most cordial fellowship, but their 



IG'-Z HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

differences were removed. They met together at the communion 
table in cordial fellowship. Seventy were added to the West 
church and thirteen to the East church. When one remembers 
the scanty population of the town at this time, this number of 
conversions must be regarded as a most remarkable exhibition of 
saving grace. 

In the Massachusetts Baptist missionary magazine of May, 
1804, Rev. Sylvanus Haynes gives an account of a remarkable 
revival in Middletown. During several years there had been a 
remarkable spread of error and infidelity. Unusual stupidity and 
contempt of religion prevailed, and even professed christians had 
become uncommonly dull and inactive. The churches, too, were 
wading through scenes of sorrowful trials, and everything looked 
dark and discouraging. In the spring and summer of 1800, a spirit 
of prayer was awakened. Mr. Haynes speaks of his own intense 
anxiety and burden for souls, and of his special engagedness in 
preaching the acceptable year of the Lord. 

In the spring, an aged woman in the west part of the town 
was taken sick, whose remarkable exercises of mind, conversation, 
and death (which was in August following), deeply and lastingly 
impressed some of her grandchildren and their discourse had 
effect on other youth. By this time some christians began to be 
aroused, and about the last of October some conferences were 
attended. In November, the conferences were frequent and began 
to be crowded. In December, the work continued to spread. 
Some opposed and blasphemed and ridiculed the work. On 
Thanksgiving evening, December 5, a great uproar was made in 
the town, and many were baptized in a way of solemn mockery; 
but christians prayed, and the Lord wrought in such a manner 
that in a short time the work spread into almost every part of the 
town, and seemed to bear down all opposition before it. Gaming 
tables and ball chambers were greatly deserted ; while conferences, 
lectures, and Lord's Day meetings were thronged. In the con- 
ferences all ages and sexes, down to little children, used greatest 
freedom in expressing their views and feelings. Although the work 
was so powerful, yet it was remarkable for its regularity. There 
was no confusion in the meetings, and scarcely the least degree of 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 163 

disorder in the whole work. The greater part of those who spoke 
in conferences, talked as candidly as though they were under oath, 
and people had to be perfectly still to hear them. About the last 
of November, 1800, they began to come forward for baptism and 
church membership. The severity of weather was no impediment 
to the ordinance. The church, which numbered fifty-two members 
when the work began, numbered one hundred and fifty-six before a 
year had passed. Forty-one of these were young, unmarried 
persons. About twenty -eight were under the age of twenty, 
and three under ten. 

When the pastor saw so many of the youth coming forward 
to the church, his anxiety and fear lest they should turn again to 
folly almost bereft him of the comfort he might otherwise have 
had, but they persevered better than his fears, and none did better 
than the little children. 

The work beginning in Middletown spread far and wide. It 
soon reached Poultney, where was a branch of the Middletown 
church of fifteen members. Brother Haynes was often called to 
baptize there. The branch was set off as an independent church; 
ordained Clark Kendrick as pastor, and within two years about 
sixty persons had been baptized. Dorset and Benson caught the 
flame. At Hartford, about a hundred persons were baptized, and 
as many in Queensbury. Bennington, Rupert, Hebron, Wallina- 
ford and Clarendon, were also revived. 

The years from 1804 to 1807 were years of refreshing in many 
places. The work of Stephen Choate appears to have been specially 
blessed. Wilmington was visited, and a church of forty-two 
members organized. At Winhall, a number were baptized and 
united with the church in Jamaica. At Windham, where there 
had been only a few members of the Jamaica, almost every home 
was visited wath grace, and a church was organized in 1807, with 
forty-three members. The work in Windham was specially 
among the youth, the first trophy being a young woman who had 
been a leader in vanity. The work was powerful in Stratton and 
Wardsboro. Many children were hopefully converted. Of twenty- 
three, who were baptized, eleven were under sixteen years of age, 
and one about nine. These children held conferences by them- 
selves with regularity and solemnity. 



164 HISTORY or THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

In regard to the work among the children, the following ac- 
count, given by Sylvanus Haynes, gives us a glimpse of its nature. 
The incident occurred in connection with the remarkable revival 
in Middletown, in 1800. He wTites in the missionary magazine 
Vol. I, pages 52 and 53, as foUow^s: 

During the work narrated above, I attended a crowded 
conference, at which a little girl, about nine years old, desired 
liberty to speak, which was granted her. She rose and stood 
upon a seat, and in a solemn and candid manner and with decent 
language, declared the exercises of her mind. She spoke of having 
discovered herself to be one of the greatest sinners, and lamented 
having lived in rebellion against God so long. She expressed that 
she had felt herself condemned by the law of God, that the law of 
God, which condemned her, was a good law ; and that her condemna- 
tion was just. She then proceeded to give a rational account of 
her entire reliance upon Christ for salvation; and that now God's 
nature and perfections appeared glorious to her soul; and that she 
loved him above all other beings in existence. She also proceeded 
to tell us what great delight she took in praising God, singing his 
praises, attending worship, conferring with saints, etc., and then 
closed by observing that she took more comfort in one hour in 
devotional exercises, than ever she had before in all her life while 
pursuing the ways of sin. 

Knowing that she had labored under peculiar disadvantages, 
with regard to obtaining religious instruction, I was surprised at 
her conversation, and was determined to know whether she under- 
stood what she expressed. I then turned to her and asked as 
follows: H — , said I, you tell us about being so great a sinner. 
What have you done that is so bad? After a short pause she 
replied: I do not know that my outward conduct has been worse 
than many others, but my heart is so wicked. Then I observed 
again: You tell about God's law being so good and just, but do 
you know the nature of that law.^ That law is so severe that it will 
curse and condemn a person forever for only committing one sin, 
unless he repents of it and applies to Christ for pardon. Now, said 
I, in a serious tone, would it not be better to have that law altered a 
little and not have it so severe. She answered: No, Sir, not at all; 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 165 

it is none too strict. I observed again: But you tell us that you 
love God; and this God can thunder when he pleases, and dash 
worlds to atoms in a moment, and are you not afraid of him. I 
used, said she, to be afraid of him but now I love him. I inquired 
again: But do you know the nature of this God? He is so holy 
that he does not allow people to commit one sin, and if they sin 
but once, he will send them to hell, if they do not repent and apply 
to Christ. Now, said I, would it not be really better if God were 
altered a little so as not to be quite so strict. No, Sir, said she, 
he is just right, he is none too strict. But there must be, I said, 
some alteration somewhere, or else such sinners as we are can never 
enjoy the favor of God. She replied : I need all the altering. Then 
I asked her what she loved God for. She answered: because he is 
so holy and so just. I queried again: but you tell about going to 
heaven and what do you want to go there for.'^ She answered: to 
praise God. But, said I, what do you want to praise him for.' She 
said, because he is so holy and so just. Well, said I, what if you 
should go to heaven, and God should tell you that you might for- 
ever enjoy those pearly walls, and golden streets, and have the 
company of saints and angels, and join and sing with them to all 
eternity, but I must go away to another heaven, a great many 
millions of miles away. Now, said I, would not heaven be just as 
good wathout God as with him.'' She paused a moment, and then 
rephed : it would be no heaven at all . Not long after this she joined 
the church and has continued in good standing ever since. 

Sylvanus Haynes, 
Middletown, October 10, 1803. 

In 1817, Rev. Mr. Huntington reported a revival in Braintree, 
as the results of which he had baptized sixty-seven between August 
1, 1817, and February 2, 1818. The same year there were baptized 
in Brandon, forty-one, and in Wilmington, one hundred and forty 
were hopefully converted. In May, 1816, there came a remark- 
able season of refreshing to the churches in Shaftsbury. The work 
extended into the neighboring town of Greensl)orough, and forty- 
three were baptized. In 1817, the church in Mount Holly was 
visited and between fifty and sixty were baptized, and the church 



166 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

there, although in a mountainous and purely agricultural town, 
was for some years the largest Baptist church in the State, number- 
ing at one time more than four hundred members. 

In 1817, at Colerain, sixty-four were added to the church by 
baptism in three months, and in Bernardstown about seventy were 
baptized. Rev. Clark Kendrick, writing from Poultney under 
date of November, 1817, says: "About this time there was an 
occurrence, perhaps, worth noticing. In the centre of the town, 
where nothing of the work had discovered itself, one evening 
toward twilight, a number of girls, from about eleven to fourteen 
years of age, were very merrily at play on the broad steps of the 
Baptist meeting-house, and of a sudden, without any visible cause, 
they were struck with solemn awe, and retired with sighs and sobs 
to a house, where they spent the evening in reading the Bible and 
other good books. Some of these eventually obtained hope and 
were baptized. This circumstance led me to hope that the Holy 
Spirit was mercifully hovering over us. 

"In October, there were signs of deepening interest, and before 
the year was over, I baptized in this town, one hundred and one, 
about sixty of whom were baptized during the cold wintry months. 
I have not yet learned that it pro^^ed prejudicial to the health of 
any one of them." (Massachusetts Baptist Missionary Magazine, 
Vol. 1, N. S. p. 305.) 

Cyrenius Fuller writes of preaching in Townshend in 1817, 
when four children under ten years of age, two of them under 
seven, related the dealings of God with their souls. He says: "It 
is usual for these children, with others of their age, to spend their 
intermissions at school as a prayer meeting. This has been their 
daily custom for some time. They appear as faithful as any 
christians I ever saw." 

This work became general and reached people of all ages, and 
in a few months tliirty were baptized in Townshend. 

We find an account of a revival in Fairfax, in 1816, in the 
missionary magazine for July, 1817. For some time the church 
had languished, being torn by internal dissensions, largely of a 
political nature. Brethren were alienated. A council was called, 
and much j)ra3'er was offered, not only in Fairfax, but also in the 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VEKMOXT 167 

churches that were invited to the council, for divine guidance and 
blessing. As a result of that council, divisions were healed, and 
animosities buried. Almost immediately a revival commenced. 
The first appearance of it was in a school of small children taught 
by a pious young lady, who, sensible of the responsibility that 
rested upon her, was anxious and diligent for the eternal as well as 
the temporal welfare of her j^upils. One of the little girls had told 
a lie a year before, and it had been a burden upon her conscience 
ever since. At last she confessed it to her teacher, who lovingly 
directed her to look to Jesus, who alone could forgive sin. So this 
little one was led to Christ, and from that time the interest spread 
among the pupils. Sometimes the studies had to be suspended, 
so many were weeping. Two men passing on horseback, hearing 
the unusual sounds from the schoolhouse, rode up to an open win- 
dow, and inquired the cause. The teacher explained the matter 
and they went away under conviction for themselves. 

Brethren of the church were sent for to assist the young in- 
quirers. Numbers who came to see the school were impressed and 
soon the interest became general. Between seventy and eighty 
were added to the church by baptism. 

In Rockingham, in 1816 and 1817, there was a revival and 
ninety-one were baptized by Rev. Joseph Elliott. 

In Brandon, about the same time, there were manifestations 
of the Spirit's power, forty-one were baptized there. 

Thus it will be seen that the time from 1798 to IH'i'S was a 
season of great refreshing, and of large additions to the young antl 
feeble churches in Vermont. 

The work in the years 1798 to 1824 was a remarkable display 
of God's sovereign grace. It was the origin of many of the 
churches which still exist, in the State, and saved a numl>er of 
others from becoming extinct. It was distinguished by the great 
number of children and youth, who were brought to Christ. It is 
sometimes supposed that the conversion of children has been little 
expected or witnessed until within recent years. This is not true 
of the Baptist churches of Vermont. jMany of those who were 
converted in those early days were children, and proved to be 
among the most stable and useful members of the bodies that 
received them into meml)ership. 



168 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

The record of the Baptist ministers in Vermont reveals the 
fact that a large number among them were converted under twenty 
years of age. 

Another thing most notable in these revivals is the depth of 
conviction of sin and ruin, which characterized the subjects of 
this work, their deep sense of the holiness and the justice of God, 
the justness of their condemnation and their entire reliance upon 
the atoning work of Christ, giving himself a ransom for their sins, 
for acceptance with God, and the Spirit of God as the author of 
their resurrection to newness of life. It was with them no simple 
resolution to turn about or to lead a new life, or to serve God, 
but it was an earnest, eager crying that God would quicken them, 
dead in trespasses and in sins, and make them new creatures in 
Christ Jesus. Such experience could only come from the clear 
preaching of the enmity of man to God, the eternal ruin of the 
persistent sinner, and the Cross of Christ as the only hope of lost 
men. 

For about five years, from 1824, there was no general and 
widespread revival of religion among the churches, but the years 
1830 and 1831 were seasons of much increase to many churches, 
for in these two years two thousand, seven hundred and twenty-six 
were added by baptism. We have no detailed account of the 
condition of the churches in these years. The church in Middle- 
town received seventy-five members in 1830-1831; the church in 
Ira, nearly one hundred; the church in Pittsford, sixty-four; the 
church in Brandon, a large number; the church in Rutland village, 
which, in 1833, ten years after its organization with fifteen mem- 
bers, had come to number nearly two hundred; the church in 
Chester, in the years 1832 to 1842, received one hundred, and ten 
to its membership. 

In the years 1831-1832, five hundred and fifty -nine were 
baptized in the Fairfield Association. 

The year 1843 w^as also a year of large ingathering, twelve 
hundred and fifty-five being received by baptism, and thirty-one 
hundred and ninety-two in the time between 1841 and 1850. 

Concerning the genuineness of these conversions. Dr. T. H. 
Archibald remarks : 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 169 

"We think Rev. Mr. Hibbard, in his historical address in 
1875, is mistaken when he says that these additions were largely 
spurious conversions. He appeals for proof of this to the fact 
that the decrease in total membership, in 1844, was eight hundred 
and fourteen. But it should be borne in mind that this decrease 
was almost exclusively owing to doctrinal divisions, particularly 
in regard to the second coming of Christ; and while the divisions 
and contentions of that period were deplorable, they did not 
involve an impeachment of the christian character of those who 
withdrew or were excluded from the churches. In the excitement 
which prevailed, and the inflamed dissensions which existed, 
many improper views were doubtless entertained, and many 
harsh sayings concerning) churches and ministers were written, but 
still, we believe that the great body of those who left the churches 
were real but mistaken disciples of Christ." 

The year 1866, and a few years succeeding it, were seasons of 
spiritual refreshing to many of the churches in Vermont. In that 
year, a meeting under the leadership of A. B. Earle, was held in 
Burlington to which the churches in the State were invited, and 
which was largely attended. The influence of the Holy Spirit was 
largely manifested. Many hearts which had long been cold were 
warmed by divine grace and many went home to pray that God 
would revive them, that his people might be glad and rejoice in 
him. In the year 1867, many churches were quickened and many 
brought to the knowledge of the truth. Mr. Earle held a meeting 
for the Addison County Association at Bristol, and one at Brandon, 
and one in Chester. All these were largely fruitful in good results. 
Perhaps nowhere were the results more manifest and encouraging 
than in Addison County. The digest of letters for 1865 sounds 
like a wail from the tombs. One church represents itself as "In 
the valley of the shadow of death with nothing but thick darkness 
around them, wathout pastor or preaching, no prayer meetings, 
no Sunday school and discouraged." Another says, "As a church, 
we still exist and think there is a little life, a slight i)ulsation is 
perceptible. " At the next session, there were some rays of hope. 
In 1867, they assembled, crying, "What hath God wrought. " Two 
or three churches, which had long been without pastors, had se- 



170 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

cured able ones. Some had repaired their houses of worship and 
received a few by baptism. The work developed in power at the 
meeting in Bristol. The presence of the Holy Spirit was markedly 
manifest. Christians consecrated themselves afresh to Christ. 
Hearty confessions were made and stumbling blocks were removed. 
Soon men began to ask, what must I do to be saved? Mr. Earle 
remained but three days, but the meetings continued for a month, 
Rev. W. L. Palmer, of Cornwall, remaining to assist the pastor. 
As a result, about one hundred were converted in Bristol, and the 
work spread over the entire county. At Cornwall, the pastor of 
he Bristol church aided the pastor there in the month of January, 
1868, with blessed results, doubling the number of the members 
of the church and much more than doubling the pecuniary ability. 
Nor was the work confined to the Baptist churches of the county. 
From Bristol the work spread to the Congregational church in 
New Haven, as the result of which the pastor received more than 
eighty members one communion season. From Cornwall it ex- 
tended to Shoreham, and resulted in large accessions to the Con- 
gregational church there. A revival sprung up somewhat inde- 
pendently of the others in Whiting, under the labors of Rev. Lyman 
Smith, with additions in considerable numbers to the church there. 

At the meeting of the Association in 1868, the voice of thanks- 
giving for a great deliverance was heard from places which had 
for a long time been like the mountains of Gilboa, on which there 
was neither dew, nor rain, nor fields of offering. The effect of the 
work thus begun continued through successive years, and it is no 
exaggeration to say it saved the churches of that Association 
from extinction. 

Soon after, the church in Addison was revived under the 
labors of Evangelist Rev. Edwin Burnham, and a considerable 
number were added there. Panton, too, was visited and strength- 
ened and the churches in Vergennes and Middlebury were the 
fruit of the work begun in 1867. 

There is one respect in which the work differs from the earlier 
ones to which reference has been made. Those were almost 
uniformly attained through the co-operation of the pastors and 
meml)ers of the churches, where they occurred, working together, 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 171 

without much of any help from >vithout their own bounds. These 
last have been largely the result of the labors of men who have 
devoted their lives to the service as Evangelists. While we thank 
God for the salvation of souls through any agency, which He 
appoints and uses, it becomes an important question for us to 
ponder whether we have not, in these latter days, come to depend 
too much on extraordinary services, and ceased to expect and 
pray for the saving health to accompany the ordinary means of 
grace. 

Let it not be supposed that the seasons to which we have 
referred are the only displays of mercy which we have witnessed. 
There has been no year in our history when God has not mani- 
fested His power to save. Our earnest prayer would be that He 
would continue to multiply our seed sown, and cause it to bud and 
spring forth until the whole land is covered with its shadow. 



Chapter XI 
ECCLESIASTICAL LEGISLATION 

While the Baptists of Vermont hav^e never been subjected at 
any time in their history to the severe religious persecutions, 
which their brethren, in some of the other states, have been called 
to endure, yet, at an early day they were, in some instances, sub- 
jected to fine and imprisonment for refusing to pay the "church 
rates" assessed by^ the several towTis for the maintenance of reli- 
gious worship. An example of this may well be noticed. Elisha 
Ransom, imder date of March, 23, 1795, writes of a member of 
Elder Drew's church, at Hartford, Vt., who was sent to jail for 
refusing to pay the State church rates, yet was obliged to pay 
thereon. He contested the case with the authorities, at a cost 
of more than fifty pounds, but in each trial the decision was against 
him. Ransom says that five petitions, with more than two 
hundred signatures, were sent to the Assembly asking for redress. 
Then he adds, "I went up to speak for them; and after my aver- 
ment that the certificate law was contrary to the rights of man, 
of conscience, the first, third and fourth and seventh articles of 
our Constitution and to itself, for it took away our rights, and 
then offered to sell them back to us for a certificate, some stretched 
their mouths, and though no man contradicted me in one argu- 
ment, yet would they shut their eyes, and say they could not 
see it so. I had a,^eat many friends in the House, but not a 
majority. " 

Probably there are not many examples of this kind of dealing, 
and it may be that this is the only instance in \'crmont history. 

There was a provision m the early legislation of the State l)y 
which a certain section of land in each town was to become the 
property of the first settled minister in town. Under this act, a 
few Baptist ministers in the State became landed proprietors. 
In 1818, an act was passed of which the following is a copy: 



174 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

"That the selectmen of the several towns in this State be 
and are hereby authorized to take care of and lease out all the 
lands in their respective towns granted to the use of the ministry, 
for the social worship of God, and still remaining to such use; and 
the avails of such lands shall hereafter be applied to the use of 
the religious society, or societies, that may be in such towns, to be 
expended in the support of religious worship in such towns. And 
if there shall be more than one such society in any town, then said 
avails of such lands shall be divided between them in proportion 
to the number of which said society consists, in said town respec- 
tively, and if there be no such society in any such town the same 
shall be applied to the use of said towni to hire preaching in said 
town for the time being. " Under this law there are some Baptist 
societies which still receive a small income from the avails of these 
lands. 

The legislation of Vermont in regard to ecclesiastical matters, 
is as follows: The General Assembly of the State of Vermont in 
its October session of 1783, passed an act entitled, "An act to 
enable Towns and Parishes to erect proper Houses of Worship, 
and support Ministers of the Gospel," which provided among other 
things, that a meeting of the freeholders of any town or parish 
might be called, and two-thirds of the legal voters at such meeting 
may appoint a place or places for the public worship of God, and 
fix a place or places for building a house or houses for public wor- 
ship, and vote a tax or taxes to defray the expense of such building 
or buildings, and also hire or agree with a minister, or ministers, 
such settlement or settlements as to them shall seem to be equitable, 
to be assessed on the jjolls and rateable estates of persons living 
on estates lying within the limits of such town or parish. With 
a provision that every person, being of adult age, shall be con- 
sidered as agreeing with the major part of the inhabitants of such 
town or parish, until he shall bring a certificate, signed by some 
minister of the Gospel, deacon or elder, or the moderator in the 
church or congregation to which he or she shall pretend to belong, 
being of a different persuasion, which certificate shall declare the 
party to be of their persuasion, and until such certificate shall be 
shown to the clerk of such town or parish, (who shall record the 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 175 

same), such parU' shall be subject to pay all such charges with 
the major part, as by law shall be assessed on his or their polls or 
rateable estate. (See Slade's State Papers, page 472.) 

The above act seems to have been repealed March, 1787, 
(See Hough and Spooner's edition, Vermont Laws, page 180) and 
in substance re-enacted October 18, 1887. (See Haswell's edition, 
Vermont Statutes, pages ^Ol, "202.) The same, with a slight varia- 
tion, was re-enacted October 26, 1797. (See Fay's edition of the 
Statutes, i)ages 474-4'79.) By an act of November 3, 1801, the 
foregoing pro\asions were altered so that if any person would 
make a written declaration as follows: "I do not agree in reli- 
gious opinions with the majority of the inhabitants of this town, " 
J. B., and deliver it to the towm clerk, he should be exempt the 
same as he was under the former laws by the certificate therein 
provided for. 

By an act passed October 24, 1807, all the provisions of the 
law requiring any person to pay taxes for building meeting-houses 
or for the support of the Gospel by tax, without his express agree- 
ment, were repealed, and such has been the law ever since. (See 
Tolman's edition of Vermont Statutes, Vol. 2, pages 178-180.) 

This synopsis of the laws of the State in regard to religious 
matters was furnished to the Rev. S. F. Bro-vsTi, by Hon. Wm. 
Pingrey, and was published in his History of the Church in Caven- 
dish, in the minutes of 1874, page 72. 

It will be seen that these provisions did not select any given 
denomination as the object of support by public taxation. The 
major part of the taxpayers of any town might choose any denom- 
ination as the recipient of their favor. As a matter of fact, differ- 
ent towns gave their support to different organizations, and in 
some cases, partly to one and partly to another, and there are 
instances where Baptist churches shared in the avails of these 
provisions. Then the conditions of exemption from bearing anj^ 
part in the matter were so easy of attainment that it seems over- 
scrupulous that any, as in the case before mentioned, l)y Mr. 
Ransom, should refuse to comply with them. 



Chapter XII 

BEGINNINGS EAST OF THE GREEN MOUNTAINS 

1780-1800 
The Birth of Baptist Churches East of the Mountains 

While the Spirit of God was active in the valleys west of the 
mountains, and ministers of apostolic zeal were winning converts 
and organizing churches and associations, a work of equal interest 
was in progress east of the mountains. Guilford vied with Shafts- 
bury, organizing four Baptist churches, three of them in successive 
years, and another a few years later. The relation between the 
inhal)itants of Guilford and Brattleboro was much like that be- 
tween the people of Shaftsbury and Bennington. The settlers of 
Brattleboro were emigrants from Massachusetts, and they readily 
adopted the measures of their native state in the su]>port of reli- 
gion, so that Brattleboro became uninviting to Baptists. The 
towns of Guilford and Dummerston, one lying to the south and 
the other to the north, were resorted to by them, where they could 
enjoy greater religious freedom. 

The towTi of Guilford was chartered April 2, 1754, and was 
first settled, in 1761, by Micha Rice and family. During the last 
quarter of the eighteenth century, it was the most populous and 
influential town in the State. The first church organized there 
was a Congregational one, which settled its first pastor in 1775. 
His name was Royal Girley, who received the right of land reserved 
and located for that purpose. 

The first Baptist preacher who held meetings regularly in 
Guilford was doubtless Rev. Mr. Whipple, of Brattleboro. He 
resided "over West River," coming there from Groton, Conn. 
He held some meetings in his o^\^^ house, but his labors were mostly 
in Guilford and Halifax. 



178 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

The first Baptist church was constituted in 1780. Richard 
Williams was pastor. This church was located in the southeast 
part of the town. Ten years after its formation it numbered one 
hundred members. Jeremy Packer was its second pastor. He 
was ordained by this church and continued pastor for nineteen 
years, when he removed to Hinsdale, N. H. The church, after 
failing to report itself to the Association for several years, was 
dropped in 1826, and became extinct. The second church was 
constituted in 1781. Whitman Jacobs was pastor in 1796. A- 
mong the members of this church was Benjamin Carpenter, who 
served the State as Lieutenant-Governor from 1779 to 1781. 
The third church covenanted together in 1782. Perley Hicks was 
pastor, and preached half the time in dwelling houses and barns. 
In eleven years the church numbered over one hundred members. 
The fourth church was formed in 1797. Benjamin Bucklin was 
ordained pastor in 1802, and preached to them about twenty years, 
when that church dissolved. 

At a council called by the second and third churches to meet 
in Joseph Slaughter's barn, about the first of April, 1800, called 
for the purpose of considering the expediency of uniting these two 
churches, it was voted expedient, and the two churches united 
under the name of the " United Church of Guilford.''^ 

Rev. Simeon Snow, from Upton, Mass., was at the council and 
the church invited him to preach to them awhile, which he con- 
sented to do, and afterward became their pastor, continuing three 
years. This Union church still lives. A further account of its 
history will be given in another chapter. 

The Free Baptist cyclopedia mentions the existence of a Free 
Baptist church in Guilford, which became part of the Dover Quar- 
terly Meeting, in 1822 and, in 1831, had fifteen members. In 1842, 
this church is reported as lost to the Free Baptists. The time of 
the origin of this church being about that of the extinction of the 
Fourth church, it seems quite probable that this fourth church 
was found by David Marks, about the time that the Dover church 
and a few others in this locality went over to the Free Baptist 
denomination, and extended its life for twenty years in that fel- 
lowship. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 179 

The same year that the Baptists were rallying and organizing 
in Guilford, Rev. Thomas Baldwin, then of Canaan, N. H., was 
holding a '"wonderful meeting" in the west part of the town of 
Woodstock. Elder Jedidiah Hihbard was preaching about the 
same time. In July, 1780, it is thought the first Baptist church 
was organized in the North Parish, with Elder Elisha Ransom 
as its first pastor. Three years later this church, uniting with three 
others, formed an Association to which it gave its name. The 
Woodstock Association. Promment among the members of this 
first church were Stephen Delano, Ichabod Churchill, Benjamin 
Burtch, James Washburn, all of whom had been members of the 
Congregational church in North Parish, and became Baptists in 
1782. A few years later, Joseph Churchill also became convinced 
of the correctness of Baptist teachings, and joined their number. 
In the spring of 1785, a religious interest was awakened in the 
south part of the towm and several young people were converted. 
Some of the members of the First church, uniting with the con- 
verts, formed the Second Baptist church, about 1785. It numbered 
among its members Abraham Kendall, Daniel, Ralph and Jal^es 
Cottle, Stephen Smith, father of Elias Smith, and many others. 
Joel Butler was ordained its pastor, January 5, 1785, and minis- 
tered to this church two years. This church soon united with the 
First Church, and the united body grew in numbers and influence. 

West Dummerston was another center of pioneer Baptist 
influence. About the year 1780, the families of Jesse, John and 
Louis Manly came to this place from Royalton, and were probably 
the first Baptists settled in to^\^l. Soon after the family of Ezekiel 
Wilson came, and that of John Turner, who came from Richmond, 
Maine, where he had been baptized. For a short time DaA-id 
Johnson was preaching here. The early records of the church 
are lost, but it is believed that the church ivas constituted during 
the year 1782, consisting of from six to ten members from the 
families mentioned. Isaiah Stone was their first pastor, and 
probal)ly was ordained here. His pastorate continued till 1780. 
The years innnediately following were years of blessing, under the 
ministry of Closes and Isaac Kenney, and upward of seventy-five 
were baptized. Heriali Willis and Sainu«>l Wakefield were or- 



180 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

dained. Rufus Williams, of Fitzwilliam, was ordained pastor in 
1793. Elder Josiah Goddard became pastor sometime in 1799, 
and during that great revival period, within two years one hundred 
converts were baptized into the membership of this early church, 
and the foundations of the px-esent West Dummerston church 
were firmly laid. 

One of the pioneer ministers in this region was Elder Wm. 
Ewens. He made an earnest effort to establish a Baptist church 
in Halifax, and was the first minister of any denomination to 
preach to that people. There was an attempt made to settle 
him as the minister of the town. They raised the frame of a 
meeting-house for him and partly boarded it. There was no 
ceremony at the laying of the foundation, but when the frame was 
up. Elder Ewens stood in the place where the door was to be and 
offered a prayer of consecration. The structure was never finished. 
It stood in the woods near the center of the town. A few meetings 
were held within the frame, but the town failed to settle Mr. 
Ewens for some reason, and the frame rotted down. For a num- 
ber of months or years the disappointed elder held meetings 
in log houses and schoolhouses, and a number were converted and 
baptized. Elder Warren renewed the attempt to found a Baptist 
church in Halifax, and succeeded in forming a small church in the 
north part of the town. A number of the members lived in Marl- 
boro and Wilmington, and after a short time this church was dis- 
solved, probably on account of the founding of churches more 
conveniently near some of the members. A Mr. Goodall, Con- 
gregational minister, came about the time that Elder Ewens left, 
and was settled and took up the ministerial lot. The Baptist 
remnant, however, were not wholly discouraged. Elder Littlefield, 
from Colerain, assisted and encouraged them until 1793. This 
year gave birth to the church, which still survives. A council 
was called by a number of brethren, Daniel Safford, Benjamin 
Wilcox, Joseph Worden, William Thomas, David Allen and others, 
and these were organized into a church. They settled Elder 
Abner Bemis, from Westminster, Mass., who was their pastor 
thirteen years, until his death. He is described in Scripture terms 
as a good man and full of the Holy Ghost, and many people were 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 181 

added to the Lord through his labors of love. There was ajgradual 
increase during his ministry, and a great ingathering near its close. 

Before his death a large meeting-house was erected near the 
center of the town, costing twelve hundred dollars. The first 
deacons were David Allen and Samuel Wood. Elder Bemis' 
death was due to a cancer on his lip, from which he had suffered 
with great patience and fortitude. He was invited to council with 
his brethren, when they were weighing the important question of 
his successor. They met at his residence to consider the matter 
prayerfully. With one or two exceptions, they were unanimous 
in accepting his choice of Elder Mansfield Bruce, a young brother, 
whom he had recently baptized. Just then Brother Bruce unex- 
pectedly entered the room. Father Bemis warmly grasped his 
hand and said "My son in the gospel, I leave you in charge of my 
sheep and my lambs; take good care of them." Already this 
young man had proved himself a workman that needeth not to be 
ashamed. This prayerful and evidently wise choice was defeated 
by the two dissenting members, who immediately wrote to Elisha 
Hall to visit them on trial. He received this as a unanimous call 
from the church, replying, " I have a peculiar regard for the church 
and am willing to cast in my lot with them, to live and die with 
them." He came, and to keep peace, the majority consented for 
a season. In a short time he scattered the flock. The church, 
however, survived this and other severe trials, and still lives and 
fills a place in the sisterhood of Baptist churches in Vermont. 

That there was a Baptist church in Westminster West, about 
1782, seems probable, from the fact that in 1784 over fifty inhabi- 
tants of the town entered their names in the clerk's office, under a 
certificate that they worshi{)ped with the Baptists. Among these 
names were those of Deacon Benjamin Smith and Deacon Nathan- 
iel Robinson. Elder Oliver Gurnsey, who lived in the parish, 
and Elder Wellman, who lived in Brookline, were Baptist 
ministers, whose names appear often in the early history of the 
parish. It is said of them that they were uneducated men who 
scorned the need of j)reparation for preaching; who oj)ened their 
mouths for the Lord to fill, and pitied the preacher that de- 
pended upon his manuscript. 



182 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

Baptists organized in Brookline, probably, in 1785. The first 
date on record is September 4, 1798, when a covenant was copied 
from an earher one dated 1785, which was undoubtedly the time 
when the church was organized. We have no knowledge of what 
transpired for the first thirteen years. The records are meager 
and imperfect. This church belonged to the Leyden Association, 
till the time of the Windham Association, and never failed to 
make its annual report. 

December 3, 1785, the firsV Baptist Church in Windsor 
was organized, and the following January, Roswell Smith was 
received ^^^th his gift from the church in Woodstock, and the 
next April, Mr. Smith was "called to the constant improvement of 
his gift, He being present, consented to it." 

A providential event, of no small interest, was the coming of 
Aaron Leland to Chester, in 1786. He was destined to become 
che acknowledged leader and apostle of the churches in the Wood- 
stock Association, wdth the upbuilding of which he had much to 
do. The story of his coming is of special interest. In the winter 
of 1786, David Johnson, of Chester, Vt., was visiting friends in 
Holliston, Mass., and while there heard of young Leland, and 
from his friends received a very happy impression of him, and 
learned that he might possibly be inclined to go to Vermont. 
With this hope, Mr. Johnson returned home and talked with his 
friends about it, with this result, that fifteen citizens of Chester, 
none of them Baptists, signed a petition urgently inviting ISIr. 
Leland to settle as their pastor. Lifluenced by this petition, and 
by a very friendly letter of Mr. Johnson accompanying it, Mr. 
Leland set out on the long journey and in due time reached Chester. 

Upon reaching the place the young minister was disappointed. 
The country was not so well settled, nor the people so interesting 
as he had expected. He was troubled. The path of duty was 
not clear. He looked to the throne for guidance. 

There is a tradition that the crisis came in the night. He 
was planning to return in the morning; but being unable to sleep, 
he arose, and went out of doors, and under an apple tree kneeled 
and prayed. And, while he prayed, the one who cheered the 
Apostle Paul at Corinth, seemed to speak to him in the same 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 18'} 

terms, "I have much j>eople in this city.' These words were so 
deeply impressed upon his mind that he decided upon Chester as 
his field of work. He returned to his home in Holliston, for a 
few months, and then came back to Chester to begin his life work. 

Two years later, August 10, 1789, he had the satisfaction of 
seeing a little church of ten members recognized by an ecclesiasti- 
cal council called for that i)urpose. At the end of five years the 
church numbered fifty members. Five years later it reported 
one hundred and forty-two members. In 1799, a precious revival 
began, and in four years one hundred and eighty-six were added to 
the church by baptism. 

The labors of this apostolic preacher at this time were arduous 
in the extreme. He scoured the country for miles around, seeking 
converts, and encouraging christians, and organizing them into 
churches. Through a forest path he reached Jamaica, twenty 
miles away, and worked with that people and organized a church 
there. The records of the town of Rockingham show that he 
was the recognized shepherd of the Baptists of that town. At 
Cavendish, Andover, Grafton and Springfield, he visited and 
gathered converts into the Chester church. At Londonderry he 
preached in a saw mill. Members from these distant places were 
received as branches of the Chester church, and were encouraged 
with the assurance that, as soon as they had reached the member- 
ship of twelve, they might, if they wished, be organized as inde- 
pendent churches. This is a matter of record concerning the 
Cavendish church, and of natural inference concerning the rest. 
The time came when this assurance was fulfilled. On the 31st 
of August, just fourteen years after the organization of the 
Chester church, an ecclesiastical council was convened and, with 
the happiest of feelings, four churches were set off from the Chester 
church to begin their independent life. These were the Baptist 
churches of Cavendish, North Springfield, Andover and (irafion. 
The membership of the i)arent church was suddenly reduced from 
two hundred and fifty-three to seventy-nine. A rare record this, 
four churches set off in one day from a mother church. 

This family of churches have lived in happiest relationship 
for more than a century, and in fellowship with the churches of 
the Woodstock Association. 



184 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

November 12, 1787, a church was formed in Putney, under 
the ministry of David Johnson, (doubtless the same man, who 
was instrumental in brmging Elder Leland to Chester). 

In 1790, a church was gathered in Jamaica by Elder Aaron 
Leland; Calvin Howard, the first convert to Baptist principles in 
Jamaica, was chosen deacon. Though without a regular preacher, 
and dependent upon transient supplies, this church prospered, 
and in October of this year, it sent out a colony, when the church 
in West Wardshoro was organized. Elder Leland was instrumental 
in gathering this church also. In 1796, a branch of this church 
was established in West Townshend, which became an independent 
body in 1810 and was extinct in 1845. 

A few converts had been gathered in Wardsboro as early as 
1792. Then came Aaron Leland, and preached and baptized six 
more, and in October of that year (1792), these were organized 
into a Baptist church, by the advice of a council of five, in which 
Leland was the only minister. 

On the twenty-fourth of October, 1794, twenty-two members 
of the Dummerston church were dismissed that they might form 
a church in Marlboro, to be called the Marlboro and Newfane 
church. Fifteen of these were men and seven women. On the 
twenty-ninth of the same month they were recognized by a council, 
and John Phillips was chosen clerk, a position which he held for 
more than forty years. This is all that can be gathered of the 
history of this church for the first six years, the records being lost. 




Rk\'. Aauo.n Lelam) 

Liiiitcnant (lovernor of Vermont, IS'i'i — 18'24 

b^oundtT and pastor of Chester Baptist C'hnreli 178(i — IS.'J'^ 

Horn, 17()l~I)ie(l, 18:52 



Chapter XIII 
THE WINDHAM COUNTY ASSOCIATION 

The Windham County Association was originally organized 
under the name of the Leyden Association, taking its name from 
the place where it was formed, in 1793. iVlthough organized in 
Massachusetts, and composed partly of churches in that State, it 
was recognized as a Vermont Association, the majority of its 
churches being in Vermont. 

In 1796, it numbered fourteen churches and eight hundred and 
seventy-seven members, with ten ordained ministers. The Vermont 
churches were the First, Second and Fourth Guilford churches, 
Dummerston, Somerset, Putney, Halifax, Marlboro and Newfane. 

For a period of forty-two years the Association, under its 
original name, worked along practically the same lines as its sister 
Associations. Its first organized mission work was that of provid- 
ing, through its settled pastors, for the supply of pastorless 
churches, at least a few Sundays in each year. 

As early as 1806, it recognized the claims of foreign missions, 
and appointed a conmiittee to receive and transmit to the Massa- 
chusetts Baptist Missionary Society such sums as should be con- 
tributed for missions, and from that time, annually, contributions 
were made for this object. 

The session in 1809, closed under the depressing and alarming 
prospect of the want of bread in this part of the country, and the 
last Thursday in December was commended to the churches as a 
day of fasting and prayer. The Vermont Association took like 
action for the same reason. The records of the next session make no 
reference to this threatened distress. On the margin of a copy of 
the minutes for 1810, is penned this note, "Most of the ministers 
of this Association are in good circumstances for living, some of 
them are wealthy. All the churches in this Association which are in 
Vermont are in Windham County. " 



186 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

The session of 1811 was rendered exceptionally impressive by 
the Association assuming, by request, the function of a council, 
and ordaining to the " Evangelic Ministry, " Nathaniel Rice. 

The constitution of their missionary society was published 
that year. The membership of the society was limited to persons 
contributing to its treasury at least one dollar. 

The object of the society was declared to be, to furnish 
occasional preaching, and to promote the knowledge of evangelic 
truth in the new settlements within the United States, or farther, 
if circumstances should require. 

The only record of any mission at a distance is that of 18*24, 
when Brother J. Parsons was employed as missionary for ten 
weeks in Pennsylvania. 

The letter of Luther Rice, in 1814, roused the members of this 
Association, as it did the other Associations, to a more active in- 
terest in foreign missions, and a standing secretary of the Associa- 
tion was appointed to hold correspondence with the correspond- 
ing secretary of the Ba])tist Board of Foreign Missions. 

In 1818. Elder Going was present, and was specially helpful in 
organizing an education society of twenty -four members. Later, 
1830, the organization of a Vermont Branch of the Northern Bap- 
tist Education Society was cordially recommended. 

A number of beneficiaries received the assistance of this as- 
sociational educational society, among them Jeremiah Hall, J. M. 
Graves, Wm. Metcalf, Bela Wilcox and M. McCullar. 

Exceptional recommendations of the Association were these, 
(1823) : Voted that instead of Rev. we insert in our minutes Eld., 
as the appellation for ministers. (1833) Resolved that we recom- 
mend the discontinuance of the practice of wearing mourning 
apparel. 

This Association voiced its sentiments on the subject of tem- 
perance somewhat conservatively, and its successive resolutions 
indicate steady growth of conviction, expressing itself in stronger 
and stronger declaration. 

Its first resolution was in 1827, "Resolved, that we abstain 
from the use of spirituous liquor on ordinary occasions, and withhold 
it from visiting parties, and from our workmen." In 1828, ''Re- 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 187 

I, that we recommend to our churches to abstain from the 
use of spirituous hquors, except as prescribed by physicians as 
a medicine." 1829, "The Committee of Temperance, considering 
the vast and awful ravages which the use of ardent spirits is 
making upon the morals of society, the peace of families, and in- 
dividual happiness — Would report, as christians, it is our duty to 
exert all our influence to stem the desolating flood. Whatever we 
may think of the lawfulness of a moderate use of this kind of stim- 
ulant; yet, indulgence in christians has a baleful influence on 
society. Hence christian benevolence requires entire abstinence. 
Resolved, therefore, that we will totally abstain from the use of 
ardent spirits, and use our influence to induce others to do so, 
too." From this strong position the Association never retreated, 
but frequently reiterated its strong protest against the iniquitous 
traffic and destructive indulgence. 

In 1824, the Association numbered twenty-eight churches, six 
of which being located in Massachusetts, east of the Connecticut 
River, were dismissed to form the Wendell Association. In 1830, 
all the remaining churches belonging to Massachusetts were dis- 
missed to form the Franklin County Association, leaving twelve 
churches belonging to Vermont, which, in 1835, assumed the name 
of the Windham County Association. Rev. Mansfield Bruce was 
moderator, and Amherst Lamb, the year when the new name was 
given. 

The churches then associated with the membership of each 
were as follows: Putney, fifty-six; Halifax, one hundred and fifty- 
four; Marlboro and Newfane, one hundred and fifty; Dummerston, 
one hundred and sixteen; Guilford, one hundred and thirteen; 
Brookline, eighty -nine; Wilmington, ninety-five ; Wardsboro, forty- 
four; Whitingham, seventy -five; Dover, thirty-six; Stratton, 
forty -one; Readsboro, thirty-seven. Total membership, one thou- 
sand and six. 

The ordained ministers were: Samuel Fish, Putney; P. Howe, 
Marlboro and Newfane; J. Packer, Dmnmerston; A. B. Eggleston, 
Benjamhi Buckstin, (iuilford; Mansfield Bruce, Wilmington; Am- 
herst Lamb, Whitingham; James Carpenter, Readsljoro. 

Tlie Windham Association has been a harmonious and stable 
body of churches, sul)ject to comi)aratively few changes, and sel- 



188 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

dom disturbed by serious difficulties. Two only of the original 
churches have become extinct, the Somerset and the Readsboro. 
The extinction of the Readsboro church was not permanent, and 
it has been reorganized and is living a prosperous and influential 
life, while the remnants of the old Somerset church were gathered 
into the Dover church. 

But few churches have been added to the original number. 
Jamaica, in 1838; Brattleboro, in 1840; Townshend, in 1856; West 
Brattleboro, in 1874; and Heartwellville, in 1907. In 1910, there 
were in the Association seventeen churches, fifteen pastors, one 
thousand and thirty-nine resident members, one thousand, three 
hundred and eighty-six total membership, and the benevolent 
contributions reported that year were $2848.00. 

This body at its first session, under the name of The Windham 
Association, became an auxiliary of the Baptist General Tract 
Society, for the circulation of its literature; every subscriber being 
entitled to one-half his subscription in tracts, at a cost of one cent 
for fifteen pages of tracts. Rev. Amherst Lamb was appointed 
agent and depositary for this work. 

i\.t this first session, interest was show^i in Sunday school work, 
a feature which has been conspicuous in this Association ever since. 
Ziba Howard and Amherst Lamb were chosen to present in every 
church (by exchange or otherwise) the subject of the Sunday school, 
and to excite a deeper interest in this institution. Li 1847, an As- 
sociational Sunday School Convention was proposed and soon was 
made a permanent organization, holding its meetings annually in 
June, and attended wdth real interest. June 1, 1910, this Conven- 
tion held its fifty-seventh annual meeting in Readsboro. 

As a domestic missionary society, this Association had looked 
carefully after the interests of its weaker churches. It was specially 
helpful to the church in Dover, for a long time. For nine years this 
church was supplied one-third of the time by the pastors of the 
Association. But for this assistance, and the help of the 
State Convention for a short time, this church would doubtless 
have become extinct. 

Quarterly meetings were sustained for many years, and were 
specially helpful to the weaker churches. Special evangelistic 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 189 

meetings were arranged at intervals, two or more of the pastors 
assisting the local pastor. In 1878, at the suggestion of Colonel 
J. J. Estey, a band of laymen was organized to assist churches in 
series of meetings, and he was appointed general manager of the 
band. 

Another marked feature of this Association has been its sym- 
pathetic interest in the widows and orphans of deceased ministers, 
within its bounds. For more than fifty years, during the first ses- 
sion of each anniversary, a collection was taken and by vote 
specially designated to some such needy family. The widow of 
Cyprian P. Frenyear was thus kindly remembered for several years 
after her husl)and's death. 

The various objects of moral reform received the attention of 
the Association. Slavery was denounced in unsparing terms; 
temperance advocated unceasingly; individual churches appear to 
have paid special attention to these subjects. The Halifax church 
had, in 1837, a temperance society, numbering two hundred and 
eighty -eight members, and an anti-slavery society, numbering one 
hundred and sixty-two members. The use of tobacco as well as 
of intoxicants was condemned by repeated resolutions. 

In promoting the benevolence of the churches, the Associa- 
tion made earnest effort. The representatives of the missionary 
societies were cordially welcomed to the anniversaries and given 
opportunity to present their cause. In 1871 , a resolution was passed, 
"That for the purpose of economy and efficiency in our benevolent 
operations, an Associational Agent be appointed to raise money 'for 
any or all of the benevolent objects that come before the churches." 
Under this resolution the following appointments were made: To 
raise money for Ministerial Education, C. P. Frenyear, Jamaica; 
for Foreign Missions, M. Carpenter, Soutii Windham; for State 
Convention, A. W. Goodnow, Wilmington; for Home Missions, 
L. J. Mattison, Brattleboro; and for Bil)le and Publication So- 
ciety, S.S.White, Williamsville. In 187''2, the Association authorized 
Mr. A. Stoddard to prepare cards and i)rinted enveloi)es for be- 
nevolent purposes, and distrilmte them to the churches willing to 
use them, on payment of cost, and assumed the payment for the 
balance of the same. The benevolent contributions of this Asso- 



190 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

ciation from 1835 to 1873 inclusive, so far as reported, amounted 
to $15,811.95. 

From 1874 to 1910 inclusive, the benevolent offerings were: 

Ministerial education received the prayerful interest of the 
Association. A noteworthy instance is the record in 1869 of a reso- 
lution to pray the Lord to send forth laborers, and the grateful 
record the following year of the fact that two more of their young 
men had entered upon a course of study for the ministry, and to 
these the Association pledged not only their prayers, but their 
pecuniary assistance, if it should be needed. A. committee was ap- 
pointed to secure, if possible, a collection from each church in the 
Association for this purpose, and to distribute the same to these 
brethren. "Resolved, to continue in prayer for more laborers." 

Leland and Gray Academy and Vermont Academy, both with- 
in the bounds of the Association, were often commended to the 
patronage and help of the churches. 

The importance of preserving the histories of the churches 
has been fully recognized by this body. By invitation of the xAs- 
sociation, the churches have prepared historical sketches, which 
have been read at the anniversaries, and printed in the minutes. 
The Wardsboro sketch was printed in the minutes of 1864; Halifax, 
1865; Guilford, in 1866; Brattleboro, in 1868; Whitingham, in 1870; 
Brookline, in 1871 ; Pondville, formerly known as the Marlboro and 
Newfane, m 187''2; Dover, in 1873; Annals of the Leyden Associa- 
tion, in 1874; Wilmington, in 1875. 

Cyprian P. Frenyear, pastor of the church in South Windham 
and later of Townshend, 1868-1876, was an ardent collector and 
publisher of the facts of Vermont Baptist history and to his tireless 
industry in this line we are greatly indebted. 

No feature of the history of this Association is more excep- 
tional or more interesting than the number of long pastorates 
its churches have enjoyed. 

James Mayin was pastor of the Somerset church from 1812 till 
its union with the Dover church in 1829, and for two years after 
was pastor of the united body, a pastorale oj nineteen years. 

Jonathan Huntley served the Baptists of Dummerston thirty- 
two years, from 1802 till his death in 1834. It was during his pastor- 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 191 

ate, in 1817, that eighty-seven converts were baptized into the 
membership of the Dummerston church. When seventy-two mem- 
bers of the first church in Dummerston ■^'ithdrew and formed the 
second church, he was chosen pastor, and in 1827, was permitted to 
baptize twenty-one converts. As one of the results of this revival, 
the two Dummerston churches were united, and Mr. Huntley con- 
tinued to serve them, and in 1830, three years from the time of the 
union, he had again the joy of leading a revived people and of bap- 
tizing thirty-seven converts. He died \\ath the harness on, having 
wrought a good work on the people whom he so long served. 

Samuel Fish was pastor at Halifax for fifty years. He was 
born in Halifax on October 13, 1788; was converted at the age of 
twenty; preached occasionally in Halifax, Guilford and Ley den, 
and more frequently in Colerain, till IS'-ZO, when he was invited to 
preach as supply in his native town, where he was ordained pastor 
in 1822. In the years immediately following his settlement there 
were one hundred and twelve added to the church by baptism. He 
continued to preach in Halifax till 1867, when he removed to Guil- 
ford, where he remained but two years, when he returned to Hali- 
fax as pastor, and continued to preach for three years, completing 
fifty years of service there. In his autobiography, written when he 
was about ninety years of age, he says : "The whole that I baptized 
into l)oth churches, east and west, was two hundred; I preached, I 
dare say, four hundred funeral sermons. As I preached three times 
one-half the Sabbaths, I think for nearly sixty years, I might have 
delivered eight thousand sermons. " His last sermon in his pulpit 
was from the text: "I pray God that your whole body, soul and 
spirit, may be preserved blameless unto the coming of the Lord 
Jesus Christ." 

Mr. Fish was twice married and was the father of fifteen chil- 
dren, eleven of whom lived to maturity, and these, with one excep- 
tion, were baptized by their father. One of his sons was the late 
Rev. Henry Clay Fish, long pastor at Newark, New Jersey. 

One who knew him says: "Almost reverential was the regard 
for him which was inspired by beholding him in his later days." 
He died on the 25th of Januarys 1883, at the age of ninety-four 
years. 



192 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

James Carpenter was pastor of the Readsboro church twenty 
years, 1823-1843. 

The Dover church was served by Origen Sjnith as pastor from 
July 6, 1852, until the close of 1872, making a pastorate of twenty 
and one-half years. During this pastorate a meeting-house was 
built and four revivals enjoyed. In one of these there were bap- 
tisms on ten successive Sundays. Ninety-two were added to the 
church; sixty -three by baptism. During seven consecutive years, 
Pastor Smith was absent but one Sunday. He gave to this church 
the best years of his life, the wisdom, zeal and piety of manhood, 
the ripe experience of age. 

Phineas Howe was ordained pastor of the Pondville church 
(formerly known as the Marlboro and Newfane church) October 
28, 1824, and with the exception of three years (1832-1835), he was 
pastor till 1842, making a pastorate of fifteen years, during which 
one hundred and seventy -five were added by baptism. The Pond- 
ville church numbered one hundred and ninety-five members in 
1841. Mr. Howe was born in Fitzwilliam, N. H., in 1792, experi- 
enced religion at the age of twenty-eight, and in the spring of 1824, 
began his pastorate at Marlboro and Newfane. His active min- 
istry covered about a quarter of a century, during which time he 
baptized three hundred and eight converts. He was faithful in all 
the duties of his calling, and left a very fragrant memory among his 
people. Happy the church that can have such a pastor so long. 

The Wilmington church was led by Mansfield Bruce as pastor 
for nearly twenty-four years. He was born in Grafton, Mass., April 
11, 1781 ; was converted at the age of twenty -three; united with the 
Congregational church in Newton; united with the Marlboro 
church in 1806; was ordained evangelist in 1809; soon after became 
pastor of the Marlboro church. He died Februarys 5, 1843, at the 
age of sixty -two. His pastorate in Wilmington was a very successful 
one. He was an humble, devoted christian; a sound and earnest 
preacher. He married one hundred and one couples, baptized four 
hundred and three persons, and traveled between sixty and 
seventy thousand miles. 

In 1875, at the time when the historical sketch of the Wilming- 
ton church was written, A. W. Goodnoic was completing a pastorate 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 193 

oi fifteen years. Up to that time, with a history of sixty -nine years, 
the Wihnington church had had but nine pastors. 

Linus Austin served the Whitingham church over nine years, 
and then Amherst Lamb, in two pastorates gave twenty-one years, 
the better part of his active ministry to this church. He was a 
sound preacher and highly respected in the community, having 
been several times returned to the State Legislature as representa- 
tive of his town. Mr. Lamb died May 29, 1870, at the 
advanced age of seventy -nine years. 

Horace Fletcher, who died in Townshend, November, 1871, 
had served that church for twenty-seven years. It has been said of 
him that his natural and acquired accomplishments entitled him to 
the reputation of being a "true gentleman of the old school." He 
was a man of rare mental and moral endowments, and might well 
be regarded as a model man and minister. Mr. Fletcher was born 
in Cavendish, in October, 1796; graduated at Dartmouth College 
in 1817, with highest honors; read law and practiced that profes- 
sion fifteen years, then turned to the study of theology, and was 
ordained pastor of the To^\^lshend church in January, 1844, and 
gave to that church the remnant of his cultured life. 

Mark Carpenter is another name worthy of special mention, 
whose work in this Association was so long as to leave a permanent 
impression upon it. He was pastor of the Brattleboro church nearly 
six years; West Dummerston, in two periods, about five years; 
South Windham, seven years, and Townshend during his declining 
days. Mr. Carpenter's history is one that may well encourage any 
young man who has not enjoyed early privileges. He was bom in 
Guilford, September 23, 1802. Before he became of age he had but 
three months of schooling. On attaining his majority he set about 
acquiring an education. He was converted at the age of twenty- 
four, and soon after licensed to preach by the Baptist church in 
Northampton, Mass. Si)ent five years in academy and college at 
Amherst, taking his last year and graduating at Union College, 
Schenectady, N. Y., in 1830, and after three years' course in New- 
ton, began his ministry at Milford, N. H. 

He was active in all the enterprises, both of the churches he 
served and in the Association with which he was identified so long. 



194 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS EST VERMONT 



The minutes of 1848 give the following list of pastors and 
ordained ministers, who have labored with the Windham Associa- 
tion since 1782 to that year: 



Isaiah Stone 
Moses Kenney 
Isaac Kenney 
Rufus Freeman 
Josiah Goddard 
Abner Bemis 
Maturin Ballon 
Simeon Combs 
Simeon Snow 
Lewis Allyn 
Jonathan Wilson 
Nathaniel Bolls 
Isaac Wellman 
Paul Himes 
Jonathan Huntley 
John Spaulding 
Joseph Gambrel 
Linus Austin 
Mansfield Bruce 
Daniel H. Grant 
Aaron Burbank 
Obed Warren 



James Parsons 
Asa Hibbard 
Bela Wilcox 
Levi Dunham 
David Cutler 
Amos Beckwith 
Stephen Choate 
Joseph Elliot 
Eli Ball 
Abial Fisher 
George Witherel 
Asahel Wells 
Asahel Wood 
Nathaniel McCulloch 
James Carpenter 
Alden B. Eggelston 
Nehemiah Fisher 
Sem Pierce 
Obed Spery 
Phineas Gowe 
P. B. Fisk 



Ziba Howard 
Nathan Ames 
Milo Frary 
Leland Huntley 
Denzel M. Crane 
Emerson Andrews 
Joseph Freeman 
Moses Field 
Nathan '1 Cudworth 
Edmund H. Smith 
Manoah D. Miller 
E. M. Burnham 
Caleb Smith 
Samuel Fish 
Amherst Lamb 
Foster Hartwell 
Samuel Kingsbury 
Joseph C. Foster 
J. H. Crowley 
Norman Clark 
George B. Bliss 



Chapter XIV 

LATER ACCOUNT OF THE CHURCHES IN THE 
WINDHAM ASSOCIATION 

Guilford 

The four pioneer churches of Guilford were comparatively 
short-lived, but as leaders among those who sought to take posses- 
sion of the land for Christ, they hold an honorable position in the 
history' of Vermont Baptists. Jeremiah Packer, during his pastor- 
ate of nineteen years, received one hundred persons into the First 
church. Among the number he baptized was Samuel Fish, who be- 
came a devoted and successful minister of the Gospel. Matthew 
Bennett was licensed by this church. 

The names of some of the members of this early church can be 
gathered from the list of the delegates to the Leyden Association, 
to which this church seldom failed to report itself. 

These are some of them: Matthew Bennett, John Burrows, 
Jeremiah Packer, John Noyes, Jabes Franklin, Solomon Williams, 
Levi Goodenough, Aaron Wilder, Deacon Simeon Barnps, Benja- 
min Franklin, Da\ad Gaines, Paul Green, Isaac Noyes, Samuel 
Fish, Deacon Solomon Smith, John Everett, Joseph Weatherhead, 
Isaac Bro-mi, Uriah Thayer, Deacon William Holmes, Jr., Philip 
Barnes, Cyrus Carpenter. 

The Second church attained a membership of ninety-seven in 
its short history of nineteen years. Whitman Jacobs, pastor, was 
originally from 'I'hompson, Conn., where he was pastor twenty 
years. A part of his church, removing to Royalston, Mass., he 
went with them and was installed pastor of the new church in 
December, 1770. He was dismissed from there in 1780, and soon 
after came to Guilford. Simeon Snow succeeded him in 1798. His 
pastorate was short, as in 1800, this c-hurch united with the Third 



196 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

church to form a new one. Some of the members of this church were 
Edward Barney, John B. Carpenter, Berriah Wilhs, Benjamin 
Carpenter, Paul Chase and Benjamin Buckhn. 

The Third church, organized in 1782, and united with the 
Second in 1800, gave to the Baptist ministry Rev. Joseph Carpen- 
ter, who became a successful pastor in Ira. 

The Fourth church, organized in 1797, and extinct in 1821, was 
never large, its largest membership being fifty -two, but it licensed 
two of its members who were afterward ordained. These were 
Joseph Packer, and Samuel Fish, Jr. Mr. Fish gave the following 
estimate of his pastor: "My old pastor. Elder Benjamin Bucklin, 
was somewhat peculiar. He was a blacksmith and a farmer. He had 
a good share of common sense and judgment, as well as a good 
measure of the Spirit of Jesus. He was quite illiterate but acquired 
a good property. When asked once by a man of considerable note 
how he preached, he replied, T try to persuade the people to do 
better. ' " When the church disbanded he became a member of the 
United church, and was its pastor in 1821. He died in Guilford, 
May 3, 1838, at the advanced age of eighty -four years. 

Some of the members of this church were Edward Barney, 
Joseph Gallop, Noah Shepardson, Isaac Goodspeed, Enos Martin, 
John Green, Edward Green, Thomas Barber, Joseph Cary, Joel 
Bolster and Alpheus Clark. 

The United church of Guilford, eldest of our churches east of 
the mountains, had a meeting June 19, 1800, and chose Deacon 
Bucklin, moderator, and Cyrus Carpenter, clerk. Chose Deacon 
Bucklin, Jacob Stoddard, Samuel Nichols and Paul Chase to serve 
as deacons. Took into consideration some things relative to sing- 
ing, and voted to sing the old way, viz., by lining. The next year 
they voted to sing without lining. Lewis Allen succeeded Elder 
Snow as pastor and was ordained in 1806, continuing pastor till 
1816, when he was followed by Jonathan Wilson, who served until 
1821. During Elder Wilson's ministry a powerful revival was en- 
joyed and aliout fifty were added to the church, two of whom be- 
came ministers, namely, Amherst Lamb and Ira Stoddard. Ira 
Stoddard removed to the State of New York where he was ordained 
and preached to a Baptist church in Eden in 1830, and afterward 



I 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 197 

removed to Jamestown. Amherst Lamb was ordained by this 
church as an evangeUst on November 28, 1821, became its pastor, 
and served six years. Asa Hibbard was pastor in 1827. Beginning 
in April, 1828, Mansfield Bruce and Benjamin Bucklin preached 
alternately for several years, and their united ministry was blessed; 
the church grew in numbers and strength. In 1830, it numbered 
one hundred and twenty-seven members. A succession of short 
pastorates followed: 

Joseph Gambell, 1832; Daniel Grant, 1833; Mansfield Bruce 
again, 1834; Alden B. Eggleston, 1835, two years; A. Burbank, 
1837, one year; James Parsons, 1838; Milo Frary, 1840, two years; 
E. H. Smith, 1842, six years; Geo. B. Bills, 1848; S. S. Kingsley, 
1849, three years; H. Archibald, 1852, three years; John Hunt, 
1855; Joseph Mitchell, 1856, two years; J. P. Huntington, 1859, 
two years; George Carpenter, 1861, two and a half years; Jonas 
Bennett, 1863. 

During the first sixty-six years of its life, this church had 
twenty-one pastors, three of whom were ordained by itself, besides 
one of its number, Nathan G. Collins, who was ordained an evan- 
gelist, August 27, 1840. In 1818, the church erected a meeting- 
house at a cost of S1200.00. In 1844, it secured a parsonage. 

During the thirty years from 1860 to 1890, the church main- 
tained a membership of between sixty and seventy members, oc- 
casionally attaining a liigher figure. The policy or necessity of brief 
pastorates was broken in 1873, when Origen Smith began a term of 
about six years, followed by C. S. Sherman for a term of more than 
ten years. Since 1895, short pastorates have been again the rule. 
G. F. Beecher, 1895-1896; L. H. Morse, 1899-1902; J. E. Irving, 
1903; James Jones, 1904-1906; Thomas Sparks, 1907; N. F. Powell, 
1909; E. Hatfield, 1910. During this period the membership 
dropped below thirty, but recent ingatherings have raised it to 
sixty in 1911. 

Halifax 

PVillowing the close of Elder Hall's pastorate, the church was 
supplied by Asa Jacobs, beloved of all and very successful. In 1814, 



198 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

Paul Himes, a zealous and devoted minister, became pastor, and 
served seven years. He left the church and society badly divided. 
In 1821, Elder Samuel Fish took charge and brought the church into 
harmony. A work of grace soon began in which more than fifty put 
on Christ by baptism. In 1842, there came another refreshing and 
continued nearly two years. Father Fish's pastorate continued 
thirty years, during which time he had the entire confidence of the 
people. Up to 1853, few country churches have been equally blest. 
Then came an unfortunate controversy in relation to the location 
of a new house of worship. This resulted in the division of the 
church and the building of two meeting-houses. After the di\asion, 
the church proper located its meeting-house in the west part of the 
town, and was known as the West Halifax church, while the other 
branch was called the Halifax Center church. William N. Fay was 
called to the pastorate of the West church. He was succeeded in 
1853, by G. O. Atkinson and S. A. Blake in 1862. Samuel Fish was 
pastor of the Center church with brief interruption until 1873, when 
Horace Fowler began supplying both churches. This plan continued 
for the most of the time till 1885, when a union of the two churches 
was accomplished, and though meetings continued to be held in 
both meeting-houses, there was no division, both bodies co- 
operating as one. While separated, the branches were of about equal 
strength, the membership of each beginning at about sixty members 
and waning to about twenty. 

Since the union was accomplished the church has prospered 
under the ministry of A. W. Goodnow, 1887-1822; A. A. Smith, 
1893-1897; S. J. Smith, 1898-1901; J. E. Berry, 1902-1905; W. J. 
Vile, 1905-1907; W. M. Hitchcock, 1908. The membership last 
reported was thirty-six. 

Brookline 

For several years after its organization the Brookline church 
had no settled pastor. From time to time some brother was invited 
to improve his gifts and conduct public services. June 2, 1802, 
Amos Beckwith was ordained pastor, and Lemuel Blandin and John 
Blandin, deacons. The church having no house of worship, these 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 199 

ordaining services were held in Josiah Taft's new barn; the record 
says: "with decency, order and great solemnity." Mr. Beckwith's 
pastorate was short, not exceeding a year and a half. Isaac Well- 
man was the next pastor to be ordained. November 3, 1908. His 
pastorate was twelve years; his salary ranged from forty to seventy- 
five dollars. His other source of income was a farm of eighty acres, 
which he owned and cultivated. Two revivals occurred under his 
administration, one in 1810, when forty were added by bai)tism, and 
the other in 1817, of about the same extent. About 1822 there was, 
in Windham County, quite an extensive reaction against the ex- 
treme Calvinistic doctrines in favor of the sentiments of the Free 
Baptists, and Isaac Wellman renounced restricted communion, and 
was welcomed by the Free Baptists. A council was called and 
denominational and church fellowship withdrawn from Mr. Well- 
man. This action was due solely to the church's devotion to its 
principles, for they loved their pastor very much. Two years later 
Mr. Wellman returned, renounced open communion, confessed his 
error, and was fully restored by the church. 

David Cutler was ordained pastor, August 25, 1827, and his 
pastorate was a harvest of souls. At last, however, a grievous trial 
grew out of the sale of a horse by Jesse Gray to Elder Cutler, that 
threatened the destruction of the church, but by the aid of a coun- 
cil, harmony was restored. In 1827, the churches of East and North 
Townshend were formed, and about seventy members of the Brook- 
line church were dismissed by letter for this purpose, reducing its 
meml)ership nearly one-half. Denzel Crane was ordained in Janu- 
ary, 1837, and on the same day the new meeting-house was dedi- 
cated. A tragic incident occurred during the erection of this meet- 
ing-house. At the raising of the belfry, the wall being brick, the 
west bent of the belfry was raised and stayed, and as the men com- 
menced to lift the second bent, the supporters of the work gave way, 
and precipitated forty men a distance of nearly twenty feet below, 
among the fallen timbers and boards. The jar of the falling tim- 
bers loosened the stay of the bent that was raised, and that started 
downward, too, but seemingly by the hand of Providence, it was 
stopped by a projecting brick. Had this fallen upon the heads of 
the men below, many would have been killed. As it was, six men 
were seriously injured. 



200 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

In the spring of 1841, Samuel Kingsbury, Jr., of Windham, 
was called to the pastorate. A revival followed and thirty-one were 
baptized. Mr. Kingsbury continued pastor till the spring of 1849. 
In the autumn of the same year, this devoted servant of God, his 
wife and three children, all died within two weeks. In Mr. Kings- 
bury's pastorate, the church attained its highest membership, one 
hundred and ten. 

During the next decade, Rufus Smith and C. B. Smith were 
the only pastors. C. B. Smith, then principal of Leland and Gray 
academy, was ordained February, 1855, and during his service 
nineteen were added and the Sunday school was specially prosper- 
ous. In the next decade, J. P. Huntington and Sem Pierce had very 
brief terms of service, and C. Farrar one of about seven years. 
Twenty-two were received to membership under his ministry, and 
the house of worship greatly improved, largely through the efficiency 
of Mrs. Elizabeth Farrar. Up to 1871, about five hundred different 
members had belonged to this church. Meanwhile, there had been 
constant drain upon it by deaths and removals, the number dis- 
missed by letter largely exceeding those received in that manner. 
Sometimes for years together the church was pastorless, but still 
mamtained its discipline and observed the ordinances, and though 
called to pass through severe trials, maintained its steadfastness. 
The roll of pastors since 1871, when the historical sketch was pub- 
lished in the minutes, is as follows: W. A. A. Millerd, J. D. Dono- 
van, C. D. Fuller, C. Farrar, I. D. Burwell, H. V. Baker, Alvin 
Parker, O. J. Taylor, I. M. Compton, Geo. H. Nickerson, W. Brew- 
ster, G. H. Chambers, W. C. Sunbury, C. E. Child, H. S. Metcalf, 
H. S. McHale. Resident membership in 1912, nineteen. 

DUMMERSTON 

Sometime in 1801, Elder Goddard took his leave and for a short 
time the flock was without an undershepherd. Jonathan Huntley 
was ordained in 1802. A meeting-house was erected the next year 
at a cost of $1200. Asahel Wells was ordained October 5, 1815, 
and the great revival of 1816 followed, when eighty-seven were 
baptized. The church attained the number of two hundred mem- 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 201 

bers. Then dissension arose over the reception of a member who 
had been excluded, causing a division in the body. A council led 
to mutual confession and settlement of the trouble. Then Elder 
Huntley asked for his dismission, which was soon granted him. At 
the same time seventy -two members asked for and obtained letters 
of dismission and were organized into a church called the Second 
Baptist Church in Dummerston. They placed Elder Jonathan Hunt- 
ley over them as pastor, and enjoyed his labors during the existence 
of the church. Nothing notable occurred with them till 1827, when 
a revival in Putney commenced in a remarkable way and spread 
through the whole region, and tw^enty-one were added to this 
church, bringing its membership to ninety-eight. The First church 
were without a pastor for a time, till July, 1819, they obtained the 
services of Levi Dunham for two years, then had preaching only 
part of the time, till the revival already mentioned, under the in- 
fluence of which the two churches reunited, forming a church of 
one hundred and forty-four members with Elder Huntley, pastor; 
Deacons Jesse Manley, Luke Taylor and Oliver Carpenter to stand 
as deacons, and Joel Chandler as clerk. 

A revival in 1830, turned an ebbing tide and added thirty-seven 
to the membership. In 1834, Elder Jonathan Huntley died. May 
27, after laboring in this field thirty-tw^o years. 

The church revised its roll this year, and the number was found 
to be one hundred and fourteen. Ziba Howard was ordained No- 
vember 25, 1835, and his services enjoyed till 1839. Ednumd H. 
Smith followed him. 

For twenty years following, the church suffered decline. Most 
of the time it was pastorless, and failed to send letters to the As- 
sociation. In 1859, the church rallied and built a meeting-house at 
a cost of $1700. Pastors were then secured, not for long terms, but 
sufficient to supply preaching at least part of the time. H. B. 
Streeter, in 1860; J. M. Mace, 1862; Mark Carpenter, 1865. The 
tide of prosperity seemed to be rising; twenty-seven were added by 
baptism and letter. J. G. Bennett served two years. 1868-1869. 
In 1870, while without a pastor, twenty-one were added and the 
membership was seventy-four. Short pastorates or seasons of sup- 
plies followed for two decades: S. S. White, M. L. Fox, F. E. Car- 



202 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

penter, D. W. Palmer, A. N. Woodruff, M. Carpenter, C. J. Wilson, 
C. R. Powers, A. D. Spaulding, E. F. Mitchell, E. P. Merrifield, 
S. Bickford, I. M. Compton, L. H. Kimball, T. H. Langley, J. A. 
Swart, Miles G. Tupper, C. E. Clark. The recent supplies have 
been from churches, by the encouragement and help of the State 
Convention, which assumed the care of this church. Member- 
ship in 1912, thirteen. 

PoNDViLLE (Formerly Marlboro and Newfane) 

Nehemiah Fisher, who was deacon in 1802, was licensed to 
preach in 1809, and proved a most valuable helper of the church, 
for many years supplying the pulpit acceptably in the interim be- 
tween pastorates. In 1806, twenty-one converts were baptized, 
one of whom was Mansfield Bruce, who was promptly appointed 
deacon, and three years later was ordained pastor of the church, serv- 
ing faithfully till 1818, and welcoming to the church, by baptism, 
eighty-five happy converts. Paul Himes was next pastor, serving 
but two years and baptizing forty-three persons. October 24, 1824, 
Pliineas Howe began his remarkable pastorate, marked by recurring 
revivals and the baptism of about one hundred and seventy-five 
persons. Among these was one man ninety-seven years of age who 
had waited sixty-seven years to become fit for the ordinance. With 
the exception of three years, 1832-1835, when D. H. Grant and other 
licentiates supplied. Eider Howe served till 1842. About 1840, a 
new meeting-house was built and the location changed to Pondville. 
This change caused dissatisfaction in part and some of the members 
for a time held a separate meeting. Caleb Smith supplied in 1843; 
Foster Hartwell was pastor, 1844-1848; C. L. Baker, supplied in 
1849; A. W. Stearns, pastor, 1850-1853; J. P. Huntington, 1853- 
1856; I. C. Carpenter, 1856-1862; C. D. Fuller, 1862-1864; J. M. 
Wilmarth 1864-1867; S. S. White 1868-1871. From 1802 to 1871 
four hundred were received to this church by baptism; eight were 
licensed to preach, and eight deacons appointed. 

Since 1871, the list of pastors is as follows: J. A. Rich, 1872- 
1873; A. J. Walker, 1874-1875; W. Beavins, 1876-1878; L. F. Shep- 
ardson, 1879-1881; W. Crocker, 1881-1884; G. N. Green, 1885; 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 203 

E. F. Mitchell, 1886-1889; E. H. Hatfield, 1890-1893; I. F. Coops, 
1894-1895; F; S. Bickford, 1896-1901; J. H. Langley, 1902; J. A. 
Swart, 1905; M. S. Tupper, 1906; E. C. Clark, 1907-1911. The 
membership was one hundred and twenty in 1886; eighty-four in 
1896, and sixty-five in 1912. 

Dover 

John Thompson, Isaac Laselle and Ebenezer Sears, were prob- 
ably the first Baptists in Dover, coming there about 1786. Elder 
Aaron Leland, of Chester, soon heard of tliem and came to preach 
for them occasionally. Elder Combs came also, now and then, and 
about 1789, baptized Jane Sears, Mary Staples and Priscilla 
Thompson, the first to be baptized in this place. In 1798, there was 
quite a general awakening under the preaching of James Davis, 
a Congregational minister. By 1814, there were a sufficient num- 
ber of Baptists to warrant the organization of a church and this was 
accomplished on Octolier 4 of that year. 

The constituent members were Ebenezer Sears, Lemuel 
Osgood, Silas Babbitt, Thomas McDaniels, Jonathan Thompson, 
Oliver Carpenter, Abida Doan, Simeon Jones, Calvin Orcutt, 
Jonathan Woods, Isaac Laselle, Jane Sears, Priscilla Thompson, 
Deborah Burr, Betsy Gould, Susan Dean, Jane Gould, Hulda 
Gould, Lydia JNIcDaniels, Tirza McDaniels, Patty Carpenter, 
Lydia Orcutt. 

According to an historical sketch, prepared in 1841, by Ahira 
Gould and Isaac Laselle, the church up to that time had no leader 
whom they regarded as a settled pastor, but had many ministers 
who preached a third of the time or perhaps only a few Sundays. 
George Robinson is the first minister mentioned. Others who sup- 
plied were Calvin Orcutt, a licentiate, under whose preaching the 
membership of the church was nearly doubled; Calvin Pratt, a 
licentiate; Sem Pierce, James Mann, D. H. Grant, Mansfield 
Bruce, G. B. Fisk, Samuel Kingsbury, A. W. Goodnow. 

For nineteen years, the church was sup]>lied one-third of the 
time by pastors in the Association. Origen Smith preached his 
first sermon to this people July 0, 1852, and continuetl to be the 



204 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

pastor till the close of the year, 1872, twenty and one-half years. 
Four revivals made this pastorate memorable. In one of these there 
were baptisms ten successive Sundays, and ninety-two were ad- 
ded ; sixty -three by baptism. At the close of Elder Smith 's ministry, 
the church numbered seventy-five. 

For a time there was a decline in the growth of the church, and 
fifteen years later the membership had been reduced to forty -nine ; 
then came renewed growi:h and in six years the report was fifty- 
four, and one year later it was seventy -four. Since that time the 
membership has diminished till in 1912, it was fifty-three. 

In 1829, fourteen members were added from the west part of 
the town, as a branch church, having all the privileges of a church 
save the power to exclude members. It is believed that these mem- 
bers were the remnant of the Somerset church, sometimes called the 
Dover and Somerset church, which was formed in 1791, united with 
the Shaftsbury Association in 1792, and changed its relation to the 
Ley den in 1794. Their first and only pastor was James Mann, who 
settled with them about 1812. He was still their pastor when they 
united with the Dover church. After the union he became pastor 
of the two parts for two years. In 1832, a committee of investiga- 
tion was sent to the branch church, upon whose report it was voted 
"to disapprobate Elder J. Mann's conduct as unwholesome, and 
dropt him and them as a branch. " This is the last we hear of the 
Somerset Baptist church. 

This disapprobation is explained by the fact that James Mann, 
in 1821, became dissatisfied with Calvinism and close communion, 
and the church voted in May of that year that salvation was pro- 
vided for all men, and the Lord's Supper was instituted for all 
christians. David Marks, visiting them about that time, found their 
sentiments in harmony with those of the Free Baptists, and led 
the Dover branch to join that denomination and to give its name 
to a small quarterly meeting. 

Jamaica 

The town was settled in 1775; chartered in 1780; organized in 
1781. In January, 1789, Calvin Howard became the first convert 
to Baptist principles and was baptized at the mouth of the Turkey 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT "205 

Mountain brook in November, by Elder Aaron Leiand, of Chester, 
who at this time led the first meeting held in town. Often after 
this he returned to hold meetings and baptize converts. In 1790, a 
Baptist church was gathered, the first in the town, by Aaron Leiand. 
It was large from the beginning, and Calvin Howai'd was chosen its 
first deacon. Though without a regular preacher, and dependent 
upon transient supplies, yet it seems to have prospered as it sent 
out a colony as early as October of this year, when the West Wards- 
boro church was organized. 

Elder Leiand was instrumental in gathering this church also, 
and while he was moderator of the council that recognized it, one 
John Dye% a prominent member of the Jamaica church, was clerk. 
In 1793, the Jamaica church united with the Wardsboro church, 
securing the services of Elder Simeon Coombs, who divided his time 
between these churches for the next ten years, ^^^th his residence 
in Wardsboro. After contributing members to help form the Wards- 
boro church, in 1792, there remained twenty-six members in this 
church. In 1796, a branch of this church was established at West 
Townshend. This branch became an independent body in 1810 and 
was extinct in 1845. In 1797, the membership was forty-six, having 
gained twenty in two years, which indicates unusual prosperitj' in 
so sparse a settlement. The year closing October 1, 1801, seems to 
have been a very jjrosperous one, as they reported to the Associa- 
tion that year that there had been no diminutions by death or 
removals, but an addition of forty-nine. Such large accession in 
a year 's time indicates a large revival, and possibly large increase of 
settlers. In 1803, Elder Coombs became possessed of one-half the 
ministerial land, his portion being one of the most valuable in town, 
consisting of one hundred and four acres. The meeting-house, par- 
sonage, cemetery and common, occupy a part of it, and these por- 
tions were given church and town when Elder Coombs retired from 
the pastorate of the church. June 27, 1803, by vote of the town 
in town meeting assembled, Calvin Howard and others associated 
with him, were constituted a legal Baptist society. September 21, 
of the same year, the Wardsboro church gave Elder Coombs and 
his wife a letter of dismission to the Jamaica church, to which he 
afterwards gave his undivided time. 1804, the total meml)ership 



206 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

of the church was ninety-three. In 1805, Elder Coombs closed a 
prosperous pastorate of twelve years, and returned to Massa- 
chusetts. 

Elder Coombs sprung from the Third l?aptist church in 
Middleboro, Mass., and removed to Montague in the same state in 
1791, where he was ordained pastor of the church in November 
of that year. From Montague he removed to Wardsboro, Vt., 
residing there ten years. He came to this town to reside in 1803 
and remained two years. The remainder of his life, fifteen years, 
he spent in Massachusetts. In his early life he had been a soldier 
under General Sullivan and was in at least one hard-fought battle 
in Rhode Island. During the last years of his life he spent from 
four to six months annually in the employ of the Massachusetts 
Baptist Missionary Society, when he would take long preaching 
tours in destitute regions. 

The later history of this church cannot be given in detail. 
Elder Coombs was succeeded in the pastorate by Elders Choate, 
Shumway, Baker, P. B. Fisk, Graves, Bruler, Robinson, Chamber- 
lain, T. Blood, Nathan Arms, Leland Huntley. In 1842, the mem- 
bership was one hundred and thirty-seven, when N. Cudworth be- 
came pastor. A revival blessed his labors, and in 1843, there were 
baptisms on eleven successive Sundays. The pastor was assisted 
by Nelson Jones and M. D. Miller. Seventy -five were added to the 
church; seventy-one by baptism. Mr. Cudworth remained till 
1844, and was followed, in 1847, by Norman Clark, I. H. Wood, 
A. H. Stearns. In 1857, under the ministry of R. Meyers, 
assisted by Evangelist Peacock, sixty-two were added to 
the church; fifty -thi-ee by baptism. Mr. Meyers' pastorate Con- 
tinued till 1864. J. H. Wood, S. S. White and C. P. Frenyear suc- 
ceeded him. M-. Frenyear 's work w^as fruitful of results in cov^er- 
sion, and additions, in 1870, of thirty-eight and others at intervals, 
till 1875, when his health somewhat failing, he removed to Towns- 
hend. J. H. Parmelee, Rufus Smith, D. F. Safl'ord, W. S. Walker, 
E. B. Earle, James Nobbs, S. H. Taylor, J. F. Blacklock, E. H. 
and McEwen, F. Dressier, D. S. Mulhern, F. C. Brewster, bring the 
list of pastors to date, 1912. Membership, fifty-one. 




Deacon- Jacob Kstkv 
Organ manui'acturfr, IJratlk'horo 
A hciK'I'actur of many Vormont Baptist Cluirol 
liorn, 1«U— Died, 1890 



history of the baptists in vermont 207 

Brattleboro 

In the year 1840, at the beginning of that disastrous decade 
when many of our churches were becoming extinct, a new and 
promising church came into })eing in the growing village of Brattle- 
boro. The rise of this church was rapid. During the winter and 
spring special meetings were conducted by Rev. Emerson Andrews. 
These were blessed to the community, and many were converted. 
Twenty-three Baptists united in covenant relation April 2, 1840. 
Before the church was publicly recognized. May 6, the number of 
members had increased to sixty-six, and when it was received into 
the Windham Association on the 16th of the following September, 
it reported eighty -three members. Within a year the church erected 
a meeting-house at a cost of $2700, the burden of which fell heavily 
on three or four members of the building committee. 

Rev. Joseph Freeman was chosen first pastor, but resigned 
after four months, and was followed by Rev. Moses Field, whose 
frail health compelled him to resign after two years ' service. 

The financial resources of the church at the beginning were 
small. The first year they raised $200, and received from the sister 
churches of Windham and Woodstock Associations about $150. 
The State Convention, recognizing the promise and courage of this 
new church, made small appropriations annually for nine years, 
the whole amount being about $3.50. Meanwhile, tb church 
had been manifesting praiseworthy liberality in the ='Mpport of 
missions, contributing, during the time of their depenotnce, from 
$600 to $700 for various objects of benevolence. In 1847, a parson- 
age was erected at a cost of about $1200. 

Rev. J. C. Foster was pastor from 1843 till 1856, and under his 
wise administration the church overcame many obstacles incident 
to that trying period of its history. Rev. P. S. Adams was the n >xt 
pastor. During the first year of his short pastorate twenty were re- 
ceived by baptism, and the church attained a membershi]) of one 
hundred and fifty -nine. Mark Carpenter followed with a pastorate 
of six years. Rev. A. Sherwin began work as pastor in 1865, when 
the church enjoyed another revival season, and jjlanned for larger 
things bv the purchase of a new building lot at a cost of $16,000. 



208 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

The period from 1869 to 1876 was one of remarkable growth and 
prosperity. Large annual accessions by baptism were made, especi- 
ally in the year 1872, when special meetings were conducted by 
Rev. A. B. Earle, and later by Rev. J. Tilson and Rev. C. J. Swan, 
and upward of one hundred were received by baptism and letter. 
Rev. J. H. Mattesonwas pastor during this period, and at the time 
of his resignation, the church numbered four hundred and seventy- 
six members. The Methodist chapel in West Brattlehoro was bought 
in 1872, and a church constituted there in 1874. 

Rev. H. Burchard began a promising ministry in 1876, which 
was sadly terminated by his death in 1880. During this pastorate a 
branch was organized in Putney in 1874, which became an inde- 
pendent church in 1883. 

The church has continued to enjoy uninterrupted prosperity 
under the able pastorates of Rev. J. B. Gow, 1880-1883; F. E. 
Tower, 1883-1887; F. J. Barry, 1887-1895; L. D. Temple, 1895- 
1903; G. B. Lawson, 1903-1909; and J. R. Gow. 

Several features have marked the history of this church which 
account in part for its prosperity. Its interest in missions and benev- 
olent enterprises has been marked from the first, and its contribu- 
tions have been exceptionally large. At intervals it has availed 
itself of the best evangelistic help and made aggressive efforts for 
the conversion of the people, and these efforts have been signally 
blessed. In 1892, following special meetings conducted by Dr. 
W. A. Davison, seventy-two were received by baptism and 
twenty-one by letter. In 1908, State Evangelist N. T. Hafer, as- 
sisted, and twenty -fi^'C were received by baptism and ten by letter. 

The church has made much of the Sunday school, and in re- 
modelling its house of worship, provided for the school a most con- 
venient assembly room and class rooms. Mr. L. W. Hawley, who 
has held the office of Sunday school superintendent for more than 
twenty-five years, has proved an able leader in this imjiortant 
branch of church Avork. 

In the membership of the church have been men of marked 
business ability, who have counted it a privilege to advance the 
interest of their own local church, and to promote the cause of 
Christ throughout the State and in mission lands. Among these, 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 209 

appreciative mention may be made of Deacon Jacob Estey, j and 
his son, Julius J. Estey, Gov. L. K. Fuller and Dr. H. D. Holton. 

Putney 

The first Baptists in Putney were Daniel Jewett, Abiel 
Fisher, and Timothy Radway, who resided in to\vn a few years be- 
fore the establishment of a church. The first minister to preach 
here was David Johnson. The Baptist church was organized No- 
vember 12, 1787. The original members were Daniel Jewett, 
Samuel Bennett, Timothy Radway, Maturin Ballon, Abiel Fisher, 
Lucretia Potter, Lydia Baldwin, Margaret Bennett and Elizabeth 
Winslow. Their first minister was Maturin Ballou. First deacons, 
Abiel Fisher and Amos Beckwith. First clerk, Daniel Jewett. A 
house of worship was erected in 1790. In 1793, Asa Hibbard was 
ordained pastor. Other early ministers were Amos Beckwith, 
Jonathan Huntley, Josiah Goddard, Abiel Fisher, Lewis Allen, 
George Witherell, Jonathan Wilson, Asahel Wells, AsahelWood. 
Nathaniel McCulloch, Isaac Wellman, Forrest Moore, Phineas 
Howe, Joseph Gambell, Denzel M. Crane, Ziba Howard. Their 
stay with the church varied from one to seven years. The church 
has been called to part \\dth three ministers by death, viz., Maturin 
Ballou, Rev. Asahel Wood, 1825; and Ziba Howard aged eighty- 
seven, in 1841. Seven ministers have been licensed by this church: 
Amos Beckwith, Abiel Fisher, Lewis Allen, Forrest Moore, Amariah 
Joy, Nathaniel Cudworth. 

A new meeting-house was erected in connection with other 
denominations in 1836. The first revival season was under the 
preaching of Maturin Ballou, when some forty converts were bap- 
tized; the second, under Josiah Goddard in 1811, adding forty- 
five; third, under Joseph Elhottand Mansfield Bruce, in 1817, add- 
ed twenty-one; fourth, soon after the death of Asahel Wood, 182,5, 
added thirteen. In 1827, nineteen were added under Isaac Well- 
man. The church numbered ninety-seven in 1827. Soon after 1840 
the church began to decline in conse(|uence of the great loss of mem- 
bers by death and emigration, and in 1860 it became extinct. 



210 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

In 1877, twenty Baptists, resident in Putney, united with the 
Baptist church in Brattleboro, and three years later they were 
organized as a branch church with eighteen members, and were 
carefully fostered by the Brattleboro people. In 1880, as an inde- 
pendent church, they called and ordained Rev. N. D. Parsons as 
pastor. For several years their services were held in the Town Hall. 
June 19, 1884, they were publicly recognized as a Baptist church. 
In 1885, a new meeting-house was completed in the erection of 
which they were substantially aided by contributions from Deacons, 
Jacob Estey, Julius Estey, L. K. Fuller and others. N. D. Parsons 
continued with them till 1887 and was succeeded in 1889 by H. M. 
Douglas, who served five years. In 1892, a debt of $2,200, which 
had been a great barrier to their progress, was removed, the Estey 
Organ Company contributing liberally to this end. E. F. Mitchell 
was next pastor, 1891-1899; D. J. Pierce served one year, 1901; 
E. R. Perkins, 1902-1904; A. S. Buzzell, 1905; H. E. Buffum, 1906- 
1908; J. E. Berry, 1909. 

The church numbered seventy-five members in 1912. 

Whitingham 

The first Baptists, resident in Whitingham, were Mr. Day 
and wife, Caleb Rider and wife, Joseph Cloden and wife. The first 
reformation was in 1793, under the preaching of an aged and very 
pious man by the name of Williams, of the Seventh Day Baptist 
order, who soon died. Most of those converted under his ministry 
soon after became Methodists. In 1795, David Lamb came to the 
town by request of the inhabitants and was ordained, but did not 
gather a church and soon died. He was a Baptist. In 1796, David 
Fames, Josiah Brown, Walter Fames and Esther Fames, came with 
letters of recommendation from the Baptist church in Temple, 
N. H. These being zealously devoted to their principles, invited 
Baptist ministers to preach and the result was a reformation in 
1801. Jonas Brown was then baptized and ordained deacon. A 
number of others were baptized. In 1807, Elder George Witherell 
led in christian efforts and a remarkable outpouring of the Spirit 
followed. The Baptist church was organized September 18, 1808. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 211 

The original members were Josiah Brown, William Franklin, 
Joseph Olden, Walter Eames, Jonas Brown, James Carpenter, 
Joseph Brown, Joel B. Eames. Sisters: Milicent Brown, Sarah 
Franklin, Lean Olden, Susannah Howe, Lucy Tarbell, Katherine 
Eames, Lois Brown, Esther Eames, Dorcas Sabin, Olive Eames, 
Esther Eames, 2nd. October 17, 1809, John Spaulding was ordained 
pastor and preached two years. After this,for a time,they were sup- 
plied by James Carpenter, a licentiate; Elder Purinton, Elder Bruce, 
Elder Haynes and some others. Linus Austin became pastor in 
1817, on a salary of one hundred dollars. He was ordained January 
8, 1817, and continued pastor eight years. It was during his pas- 
torate that Brother David Eames sickened and died. He was a man 
of remarkable piety and a force in the church. While suffering from 
the disease from which he died he went from house to house visiting 
all the members, and the result was a quickening of the church and 
the conversion of many. During this time Russel Brown, George 
W. Bacon, William G. Brown, Sophia Brown and Francis Beemis, 
all went to Bennington to school and were there converted, and re- 
turned and were baptized. Russel Brown went to college and died 
in his sophomore year. He was a young man of great piety and 
talent. Aides Brown was one of the converts at this time and after- 
ward became deacon. Nathan Brown was also a member at this 
time, who afterward became missionary to Burma, Assam and 
Japan. In 1824, the church numbered sixty-one members, twenty- 
eight brothers and thirty-three sisters. Amherst Lamb closed iiis 
first pastorate here in 1836, and Tristram Aldrich served a year, 
followed by A. B. Eggleslon, who, after a pastorate of a year and a 
half, joined the reformed Methodists. Sometime about 1840, he 
returned to tlie Baptists and was ordained in Plainfield, Mass. 
Foster Hartwell was next pastor for six years, when Amherst Lamb 
began a second pastorate of twelve years. The church continued 
to be the leading one in town. October, 1857, Erastus Briggs came 
from Hinsdale, and was ordained the following January, and labored 
faithfully till his death. He was a sincere and bcl()\ed pastor. He 
was succeeded September, 1861, by Thomas Wrinkle from the 
Baptist church in Colebrook, Conn. He enlistetl in the army Jan- 
uary 5th, 1864, served a year and a half, returned, and was dis- 



212 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

missed to the church in Bernardston, Mass. T. B. Briggs was 
next pastor, 1865-1868; S. P. Everett ordained, 1870; E. D. Hall, 
ordained, 1873; J. S. Bennett, 1875-1876; L. Tandy, 1878-1878; 
Origen Smith was pastor from June, 1879, till his death in Decem- 
ber, 1884; G. Colesworthy took up the work, 1886-1889; R. G. 
Alger, 1893-1894; E. H. Buffum, 1895-1898; E. C. Rood, 1899; 
R. A. Nichols, 1901-1903; E. O. Croft, 1904; I. H. Beeman, 1905- 
1907; J. P. Dorst, 1908-1909; Philip Contois, 1910; Frederic Emer- 
son, 1912. 

The Whitingham church had a membership of forty-three in 
1912. For many years it has been aided by the State Convention, 
without which it would, no doubt, have been unable to maintain its 
work. It has never been a large church, its highest number having 
been eighty-eight members in 1843. It has been giving valuable 
workers to other fields, and maintaining the means of grace in a 
needy field. 

Wilmington 

During the last decade of the eighteenth century some of the 
residents in Wilmington had united with the Baptist church in 
Halifax, then under the ministry of Obed Warren. Soon after — 
Mr. Warren removing from Halifax — these members were granted 
letters of dismission and united with the Somerset church, as a 
branch. These members usually worshipped with the Pedo-Bap- 
tist churches in Wilmington. Occasionally they enjoyed the min- 
istry of some minister of their own sentiments. In the spring of 
1806, an extensive revival prevailed in the town, under the min- 
istry of Alvin Toby, pastor of the Congregational church. Sep- 
tember 1, 1806, a council was called and the Baptists in Wilming- 
ton set off as an independent church, with thirty members. Linus 
Austin, a subject of the revival mentioned, was licensed to preach 
June 24, 1807, and preached as stated supply three years. He was 
also the first church clerk. Preaching was then supported by a tax 
on the members. Two seasons the church enjoyed the services of 
Joseph Elliott of Hinsdale, N. H. Rev. Elijah Montague of North 
Leverett, Mass., Rev. Stephen Choate of Wardsboro, and Rev. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 213 

Josiah Mattison of Shaftsbury, acted as fathers to this young 
church. EH Ball, ordained September 25, 1811, was pastor two 
years. Rev. Linus Austin ministered again to the church in 1814 
and 1815. 

A powerful work of grace was enjoyed during the au- 
tumn and winter of 1816 and 1817, and sixty-two were added by 
baptism. This has ever since been called the great revival. It was dis- 
tinguished, not only by the number of converts, but by the power 
by which persons were arrested and brought to Christ. A sister in 
the church (Mrs. Waste) lost early in the autumn a lovely daughter. 
The afflicted mother for a while was inconsolable. She finally, after 
prayer, became reconciled and began to work and pray for others. 
An awakening was soon manifest. The church was quickened and 
the whole community awakened. Thirteen were hopefully con- 
verted in one evening. Rev. Mr. Brooks, an evangehst, labored 
with the church in this work. Rev. Messrs. Fuller, Robinson, and 
Bruce, also shared in the work. Rev. Mansfield Bruce, who be- 
came pastor in 1819, baptized most of the converts. 

Rev. O. Smith gave the following account of Mr. Bruce: He 
was born in Grafton, Mass., April 11, 1781. At the age of twenty- 
three he was converted and united ^itli the Congregational church 
in Newton West Parish. He united wdth the Baptist church in Marl- 
boro and Newfane in 1806. Soon after he was chosen deacon, which 
office he filled till 1809, when he was ordained an evangehst. He 
soon, however, became pastor of the church. September 24, 1805, 
he was married to Miss Grace Goddard, who survived him till Feb- 
ruary 11, 1875, which was her ninety-first birthday. He was pastor 
of the Wilmington church nearly twenty-four years. He died 
February 5, 1843, in the sixty-second year of his age. He was 
highly esteemed in the community. He married one hundred and 
one couples, baptized four hundred and three persons, and traveled 
between sixty and seventy thousand miles. Following his death 
Rev. M. D. Smith was pastor till 1849; A. Case, 1849-1850; Mason 
Ball, 1851-1853; William Tilhnghast, 1854-1856; Caleb Smith, 
1857-1859. 

During the first sixty-nine years of its history this church liad 
nine pastors. At least five of its members have become ministers, 



214 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

viz., Linus Austin, for some time pastor in Whitingham, and was 
also Missionary Agent in New York; Nathan Collins, who labored 
as an evangelist in the West, and was chaplain in the army during 
the War of the Rebelhon; Cyrus Smith, an evangelist, and also 
Professor in the Baptist Union Institution, Murfreesboro, Tenn.; 
Origen Smith, successful in the work of Christ ; and Harvey Parme- 
lee, for a time in the service of the Convention. 

The first church edifice was erected in 1817. The present edi- 
fice was built in 1839, and thoroughly remodelled in 1852. 

Rev. A. W. Goodnow was pastor fifteen years, beginning in 
1860. The church attained a membership of one hundred and six- 
teen, the largest in its history. Rev. H. Fowler followed, 1876- 
1879; Rev. L. Kinney, 1880-1881; Rev. A. W. Goodnow was again 
pastor, 1882-1886; D. N. Phelps, 1887-1888; Wm. Spencer, 1890; 
J. D. Skinner, 1892; A. A. Smith, 1893-1896; E. C. Rood, 1897- 
1899; M. R. Foshay, 1900-1902; J. A. Mitchell, 1903; E. C. Stover, 
1906-1907; E. M. Bartlett, 1907-1908; Adolph Aubert, 1909. 

The membership of the church (1912) was eighty -eight. 

Readsboro 

A Baptist church was formed in Readsboro as early as 1812. 
In 1822, by the accession of twenty members, its membership be- 
came thirty-nine, and at that time it was received into the Leyden 
Association. James Carpenter was pastor. Until 1845, the name 
of the church appears in the minutes as still under the pastoral care 
of James Carpenter, and without indications of progress. From 
that time it has been regarded as extinct. 

In 1878, Mr. H. N. F. Marshall, a business man from Boston, 
held a series of meetings here which resulted in the conversion of a 
considerable number. The recent converts holding Baptist senti- 
ments united with the Baptist church in Stamford, Vt., as a tem- 
porary arrangement. March 26, 1879, a Baptist church was formed 
in Readsboro, and E. A. Read was secured as pastor. Meetings were 
held in out districts. Two years later Mr. Read resigned and S. G. 
Abbott was immediately secured as pastor, but on account of 
sickness in his family, was obliged to leave the following July. 




A. B. Clark, Readsl)oro 
Member of Convention Board 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 215 

The church having no meeting-house of its own, held meetings for a 
time with the Wesleyan Methodists, paying a stipulated part of the 
salary and yet maintaining its own organization and fidelity to 
Baptist principles. In 1883, the Town Hall was obtained as a place 
of worship. G. Colesworthy was pastor from 1884 to 1889. That 
year the Town Hall burned, but the church saved most of its furni- 
ture. Though under adversity they were encouraged by State 
Missionary McGeorge, and a Committee from the Association, and 
held Sunday school and preaching services. In 1891, Rev. William 
Spencer became pastor and steps were taken toward building a 
meeting-house, friends in Brattleboro and North Adams assisting. 
The new meeting-house was dedicated free of debt in 1892. The 
cost was $4,750. Rev. R. S. x\lger became pastor in 1893, continuing 
till 1898. F. T. Kenyon, 1899-1900; G. W. F. Hill, 1901-1903; 
W. E. Baker, 1905-1907. State Evangelist Hafer assisted pastor 
Baker in 1907, and eleven were baptized that year. A. J. Bowser 
was ordained pastor in 1908, seven were received to membership, 
and the following year twenty were baptized and six received by 
letter. Thomas Packard was pastor in 1910 and C. E. Gould in 
1911. Membership of the church at that time, seventy-one. 

The Readsboro church has been assisted by the State Conven- 
tion since 1892, receiving in that time amounts aggregating 
$1967.33. 

Heartwellville 

In 1906, Rev. C. S. Daniels and State Evangelist Hafer held 
special meetings in Heartswell and awakened an interest. Twelve 
were baptized and with twelve others, united in church fellowship 
under Mr. Daniels as pastor. The State Convention generously 
aided the new enterprise. Their meeting place was improved and 
the outlook was hopeful. The nearest church to this one is five 
miles away. Mr. Daniels, after a pastorate of five years, resigned. 
In his report in 1911, Dr. Davison recommended the union of this 
church with the Readsboro church in tiie support of a pastor on 
both fields. Rev. C. E. Gould, of Readsboro, supplied during 
most of the year, 1912, 



216 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

TOWNSHEND 

The first Baptist church in Townshend was formed on the 
20th day of September, 1810, and existed till near the close of 1840. 
The meeting-house was built in 1817. The acting pastors of the 
church and society are as follows : Samuel Kingsbury, from ordina- 
tion in 1808-1817; Benjamin I. Lane, fall of 1817-1819; 

Lathrop, January, 1820,- June, 1821; George Robinson, Decem- 
ber, 1821-December, 1824; Joseph M. Graves, January, 1825- 
January, 1829; Simeon Chamberlain, March, 1831-March, 1834; 
Hiram A. Graves, spring and summer of 1835; Nathan Ames, 
1836; Charles Farrar, spring of 1837-spring of 1838. 

Second Church in Townshend 

On the 15th of June, 1827, twenty-four or more Baptists met 
for organization in the dwelling house of Edward White. The ensu- 
ing 4th of July, a council met and the church was organized with 
thirteen brethren and eighteen sisters. Rev. J. M. Graves, the 
Baptist preacher at West Townshend, preached one-third of the 
time for brief periods. In 1834, the Legislature passed an act of 
incorporation for the Leland Classical and English school. The 
northern half of the academy building served as a place of worship. 
The first teacher, Erastus Willard, frequently preached there. 
R. M. Ely was pastor from 1832 to 1838. Rev. W. D. Upham was 
next ordained and served four years, until his death. His pas- 
torate was marked by a continuous revival. Rev. Horace 
Fletcher then began, in 1844, a pastorate that lasted twenty -eight 
years, a period of steady healthy growth. The church attained a 
membership, in 1869, of two hundred and forty. In 1866, forty- 
seven were added, and in 1869, twenty. 

Mr. Fletcher had graduated from Dartmouth college at the 
age of twenty -one, at the head of his class. Five years he then spent 
in teaching and in the study of the law, was admitted to the bar, 
and had spent fifteen years in its practice. Rev. Horace Fletcher 
grew in intellectual and spiritual strength, as well as in influence 
and reputation, even into old age. The honorary title of Doctor of 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 217 

Divinity was conferred on him by Hamilton Theological Seminary, 
a title justly earned. After an miinterrupted pastorate of nearly 
twenty -eight years, he died November, 1871. Rev. R. M. Prentice 
became pastor May 1, 1872, and Rev. Cyprian Frenyear succeeded 
him in 1875, and after brief service, died May 10, 1876. Mr. Fren- 
year served as the State historian of the denomination, devoting 
much time and energy to the collection and publication of historical 
and biographical matter. It was his desire to publish a history of 
Vermont Baptists. His valuable collection of material was pur- 
chased by the Vermont Baptist Historical Society. 

Rev. T. M. Butler was settled in 1876, dismissed October 
29, 1882; R. S. Mitchell served from June 30, 1883, till July 9, 
1887; D. W. Athern, October 1, 1888, to 1891; C. D. R. Meacham, 
1892 to 1898; L. B. Curtis, 1899 to 1900; E. A. Royal, 1902 to 
1904; W. W. Gushee, 1907; Joseph McKean, 1908. 

Membership in 1912, sixty-three. 

South Windham 

The story of the origin of the South Windham church is fully 
given in a letter from Rev. Stephen Choate to the editor of the 
Massachusetts Baptist Missionary Magazine, under date of Wards- 
boro, April 7, 1807. In the course of the previous year there had 
been some revival in Winhall. It spread in a part of Jamaica and 
Windham in a glorious manner. Almost every house in the neigh- 
borhood, where the reformation spread, shared in it. Strong and 
hostile opposers were won to Christ. The work was principally in 
Windham, where there was no Baptist church and only a few mem- 
bci-s of the Jamaica church. On the oth of April , Mr.Choate preached 
to a large assembly. After the sermon ten recent converts 
related their experience and were fellowshij)ed. Although the 
meeting began early it was late when the people repaired to the 
water, about half a mile distant, in the edge of the woods, a beau- 
tiful and convenient ])lace both for the baptism and for the spec- 
tators. Here with great solemnity the ten were buried with Christ 
in baptism. After the ordinance Brother Baker, a candidate for the 
ministry who was present, gave a word of exhortation and the pco- 



218 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

pie returned to their homes. A meeting was appointed for the even- 
ing and "at early candle light" the people collected. Mr. Baker 
preached, and considerable time was spent in conference and 
prayer, and four persons related their experience, and plans were 
laid for a baptism in the morning. Sunday morning, September 6th, 
four were baptized. 

On the 10th of October, Mr. Choate and Elder Henry Cham- 
berlain were at Windham and the examination of candidates was 
continued, one of whom had been a violent opposer. Eight gave 
accounts of their experience and by that time it was so near even- 
ing that there was not time to wait for others who wished to go for- 
ward. Again the woodland baptistery was visited and four re- 
ceived the ordinance. In the evening three more candidates were 
examined, and in the morning seven put on Christ in baptism. On 
the 12th of January following, 1807, Mr. Choate assisted in the 
organization of these brethren into a church of forty -three members, 
most of whom had been converted in that revival season. Under 
such delightful circumstances the South Windham church had its 
origin. On the occasion of its centenary Pastor Leonard Aldrich 
gave a sketch of the history, from which the following items are 
taken: 

The church increased in membership somewhat rapidly and in 
1812, five years from its beginning, it numbered eighty -five mem- 
bers. This number continued to increase until 1842, when one hun- 
dred and ninety -four names were enrolled. That was the zenith of 
the church's numerical strength. Then a gradual decline began 
which has continued to the present. The losses have been due more 
to death than emigration, as is evident from the fact that during 
the century the dismissions by letter have been but five more than 
the accessions by letter, one hundred and eighty-five and one hun- 
dred and seventy-five of each, respectively. Deaths outnumbered 
the baptisms. Losses, however, by revision of the roll and dropping 
members, changes this proportion. 

For nineteen years the church met wherever it could find a 
shelter. Tradition has it that the first meeting-house was erected by 
Colonel Cobb because of its beneficial influence on business. The 
vestibule, cupola and bell were added in 1853, the vestry was 
built in 1895, and the church renovated. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 219 

The church has been served by twenty pastors. The first was 
Deacon Thomas Baker, a shoemaker by trade, who followed his 
craft for support while in the ministry, the salary being but one 
hundred and four dollars, one-fourth in cash, and the rest in grain 
and labor; Samuel Kingsbury was the next pastor, from 1819-1838, 
nineteen years. Accessions during this pastorate were not numer- 
ous. Milo Tracy, the next minister, reaped the fruit of his sow- 
ing, baptizing eighty-eight. The other ministers and supplies have 
been: M. D. Miller, W. Fisher, C. L. Baker, Charles Green, W. 
L. Picknell, Charles Farrer, C. P. Rugg, E. P. Merrifield; Milo 
Tracy, second pastorate; Mark Carpenter, Ephraim Hapgood, C. L. 
Frost, H. V. Baker, B. F. Tuck, C. A. Votey, Charles VanSchaick, 
A. Hathaway, Charles Buckingham, Charles W. Dealtry, William 
Thorne, F. H. Conant, Sidney Aldrich, J. W. Vile. Charles Green 
was pastor ten years; Mark Carpenter seven years. 

Fourteen young men have been licensed by this church to 
preach the gospel. Among these are Charles Fairman, J. Furman, 
Olan Baker, and a son of Pastor Milo Tracy. 

The church has been in vital connection with the Association, 
and by its delegates and its contributions taken part in the State 
work and in missionary efforts. Membership in 1912, twenty-nine. 

Wardsboro 

Permanent settlements in Wardsboro began in June, 1780, 
when John Jones, Ithamer Allen, and others came from Milford 
and Sturl)ridge, Mass. Others joined them soon and the tovai was 
organized March 14, 1786. They were without preaching for sev- 
eral years. They were accounted famous according as they had 
lifted up axes upon the thick trees. In 1792, Elder Stone came and 
preached occasionally and baptized four converts. Then Aaron 
Leland came over from Chester, and preached and baptized six 
more, and in October of the same year, 1792, these were organized 
into a Ba})tist church, by the advice of a council of five, in which 
Aaron Leland was the only minister. He was aj)pointed moderator. 

The ten thus united were Lenniel Brailey and Keziah Brailey, 
his wife, Samuel Davis and Rachel Davis, his wife; Nathaniel 



220 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

Gould and Abigail Gould, his wife; James Wallace, Timothy Wake- 
field, Enoch Fisk and Asa Day. Samuel Wheeler was appointed 
Clerk. He was received upon his promise that he would soon pro- 
cure a letter of recommendation from another church, which he 
never did, much to the trial of the church, until a council was called 
which decided that he was not a legal member. Frequent additions 
were made to the church until 1795, when they built a meeting- 
house, which, however, was not completed fully till 1805. In 1795, 
also, they settled Simeon Combs, who served first as an evangelist, 
then two years as installed minister and again as evangelist, till 
1803. Elder Combs became pastor on the condition (1), that the 
church could support him; (2), that the church would support him; 
(3), would ordain deacons; (4), would allow his occasional absence 
to preach in destitute places; (5), give him four weeks to visit his 
friends. 

For several years the Baptists in Jamaica partly supported 
Elder Combs, who divided his time between the two churches, but 
as from 1803, he gave his whole time to Jamaica, the Baptists of 
Sutton aided those in Wardsboro. 

In August, 1794, the church voted the preacher a salary of 
forty -five pounds, but in October added money to move his family, 
and later they appointed a committee to fix the prices at which all, 
who were delinquent in paying the money, should pay their sub- 
scriptions in provisions. At one time they voted their minister a 
beef, and at another to give him fifty pounds of flax and twenty 
pounds of wool. 

August 4, 1800, Paul Davis, who had been church clerk for 
several years, was licensed to preach, and this year was marked by a 
great revival. Illustrative of the care the church exercised in action 
which might effect the interests of other churches is a letter written 
bj' Elder Combs when Paul Davis began to preach. 

"Wardsboro, Dec. 16, 1797. 

This may certify to all our Baptist churches, and friends of 
other denominations, that our beloved brother, Paul Davis, is a 
regular meml)er of the Baptist church in Wardsboro, and is a man 
of sober life and conversation, and hath exercised his gift in public 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 221 

in a doctrinal line to considerable satisfaction, but we have heard 
him but a few times and are not fully determined what his gift is; 
but we hope and think, (and not without evidence) that he will, 
by improvement and experience together with the prayers and en- 
couragement of the church, make a good minister of the gospel of 
Christ." 

Stephen Choate, who had been clerk for two years, was a young 
and promising brother and the church voted "that it was their 
minds that he had a public gift that ought to be improved. " In 
October, 1805, a council from four other churches ordained him. 
He proved an active, laborious, successful minister, and under his 
ministry many were added to the church, which attained at that 
time, a high degree of efficiency. But in the meridian of life and in 
the midst of his usefulness, he died, in 1811. The church was with- 
out settled ministry for several years. 

From the organization of the church until October, 1814, the 
church was scattered about in three towoiships. At that time the 
members living in Dover were dismissed to form a church there. 
In 1816 and 1817, large accessions were received through the efforts 
of Elder Brooks. Sixty were baptized, most of them young people, 
two of whom became Baptist ministers, L. Glazier, and D. Grant. 
In 1819, the members living in Stratton were dismissed and or- 
ganized by themselves, and the Wardsboro church was greatly re- 
duced but not discouraged. Joseph Gambrell, a licentiate from 
Rockingham, was ordained pastor, and for ten years was both 
sower and reaper. He organized the first Sunday school in the 
society. The year, 1834, was marked by a notable event. Finding 
the location of the meeting-house unfavorable the people resolved 
to move it, and this was done. The house was taken down, moved 
about two miles to West Wardsboro, then known as Hammons 
Mills, rebuilt, a bell put in the tower, and the sanctuary^ recon- 
secrated to God 's service. The peace and prosperity of the church 
was greatly promoted by this enterprise. Joshua Vincent was or- 
dained and took up the work in the new location, held protracted 
meetings and gathered thirty-six members, most of them heads 
of families. P. B. Fisk was the next pastor, continuing till 1846, 
with the interruption of one year, 1843, which was filled by Nathan 



222 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

Ames. His fruitful service was terminated by his death, March 16, 
1846. In September, 1853, the church had the pleasure and honor 
of ordaining Miles J. Knowlton, who afterward became missionary 
to China, stationed at Ningpo. 

J. H. Crowley served as pastor from 1846 till 1853, when grave 
charges against his christian and ministerial character were pre- 
ferred, which, being sustained by two councils, he was deposed. 
H. Archibald, E. P. Merrifield, George Carpenter, and Charles 
Brooks, served brief pastorates. Mr. Brooks was ordained at a 
session of the Association in 1861. 

The list of pastors since 1865 is as follows: A. B. Eggleston, 
S. C. Sherman, David W. Palmer, J. Fairman, A. J. Walker, L. E, 
Pierce, H. M. Hopkinson, L. F. Shepardson, I. H. Parmelee, G. I. 
Ganun, E. B. Earle, W. N. Stratton, J. D. King, R. A. Nichols, 
W. S. Boardman, W. H. Bishop. From 1872 to 1885, the member- 
ship was maintained above seventy. Since then it has gradually 
declined. The membership was forty-four in 1912. 

DORRILLITES 

Illustrative of the counter influences at work in Windham 
County in the early days is the account of the Dorrillites, given 
by Zadoc Thompson, in his History of Vermont. 

In the year, 1798, a sect of fanatics sprang up in the southern 
part of Windham County, in this State, which gained quite a num- 
ber of adherents there and in the two towns of Leyden and Ber- 
nardston, Mass. The founder was one Dorrill, a refugee from the 
British army under Burgoine. Dorrill pretended to be possessed 
of supernatural powers, and confidently asserted that it was not 
in the power of man to hurt him. He promised his followers that if 
they had full faith in him they should never die. 

They lived upon milk and vegetables, holding that it was a sin 
to eat that which had cost life. For a similar reason they could wear 
no clothing procured at the expense of life, putting off their leather 
shoes and wearing those made of wood or cloth, and their black- 
smith procured a pair of cloth bellows in the place of his former 
leathern ones. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 223 

They discarded all revelation except Dorrill's, and governed 
their conduct })y the light of nature. They held weekly meetings, 
but the worship consisted in eating and drinking, singing, fiddling 
and dancing, and hearing lectures from Dorrill. 

They held most of their property in common, the blacksmith 
being treasurer. 

In a short time the society became quite large, embracing quite 
a number of very respectable families. People from the neighboring 
towTis went to see the marvelous doings of this new sect. Finally, 
Captain Ezekiel Foster, a man of good sense, giant frame and com- 
manding appearance, attended these meetings. All went on as 
usual until Dorrill came to speak of his miraculous powers, but the 
moment he uttered the words, " no arm can hurt my flesh, " Captain 
Foster, indignant at such blasphemy, with a single blow knocked 
him nearly senseless,and when Dorrill attempted to rise, he knocked 
him down a second time, and while he begged for mercy, Foster 
pounded him until he renounced his doctrines and acknowledged 
that his sole object in the attempt he had made was to see what fools 
men were, and to make everybody see that there was nothing so 
absurd that people would not believe it, provided it was proclaimed 
with unhesitating boldness. 

Dorrill was allowed to get up, only upon promising, upon the 
penalty of his life, to deceive the people no more. This, of course, 
was the end of that error, but the lesson is too valuable to be lost. 




Dr. Henry D. Holton 

Member of Convention Board 
Secretary of State Board of Health 



Chapter XV 
THE WOODSTOCK ASSOCIATION 

In that eventful year 1783, in which the long contest for 
American independence ended, the Woodstock Association was 
organized. The Baptist church in Woodstock, gathered under 
the ministry of Ehsha Ransom in 1780, had attained a membership 
of eighty, and was connected with the Warren Association, to 
which its pastor was sent as delegate. This church united with 
three others across the Connecticut, and organized the Association 
which has since borne honorably the name first given it. The 
other churches were Canaan, of which Thomas Baldwin was 
pastor, Croydon, Sutton, Samuel Ambrose, pastor; and Wendel, 
To these, the same year, the church in Royalton, Vt. was added. 
This little group of churches was the nucleus around which others 
soon gathered to form an association covering a wide territory. 

Three years after its organization, seven other churches joined 
it. These were Second Woodstock, Claremont, Temple, Windsor, 
Westminster, First W^estmoreland and Marlow. The total mem- 
bership was then four hundred and ninety-six. The Marlow 
church had the largest membership, one hundred and eighteen. 

In 1791, the Association numbered twenty-six churches and 
ten hundred and fourteen members. A list of the churches con- 
nected with this Association, in the order of their accession, will 
show perhaps as well as may be, the development of the body. 

The Vermont churches were (1783) Woodstock, Royalton; 
(1786) Second Woodstock, Windsor, Westminster, (1788) Dum- 
merston, Reading; (1789) Rockingham, Hartford, Chester; (1791) 
Jamaica, W^oodstock and Bridgewater, (iuilford West; (179'-2) 
Thetford, Norwich; (1793) Cambridge, Plainfield, Sharon, Fairfax; 
(1794) Wardsboro, Alburg, Caldwells Manor, Canada; (1798) 
Chelsea; (1802) Pomfret; (1804) Weathersfield, Grafton, Ciiven- 
dish, Sutton; (1808) Windham; (1810) Andovcr, Washington; 



226 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

(1811) Townshend, Londonderry, Windsor; (1812) Barre, Dan- 
ville, Fairfield; (1813) Winhall, Mount Holly; (1817) Stockbridge 
and Reading; (1819) Hartland, Weston; (1821) Springfield; (1825) 
Ludlow; (1827) Townshend 2nd. 

The New Hampshire churches were: Canaan, Croydon, Sut- 
ton, Wendel; (1775) Lebanon; (1786) Claremont, Temple, Mar- 
low, Westmoreland; (1788) Stoddard, Dublin; (1789) 2nd West- 
moreland, Mason, Hopkinton; (1790) New London; (1791) Alstead, 
Cornish; (1793) Grafton; (1798) Hanover; (1804) Goshen; (1806) 
Hanover and Lyme, Peterboro; (1808) Sutton; (1811) Acworth; 

(1812) Meredith, Boston, Unity; (1825) Lempster. 

In 1828, there were twenty-seven churches in the Association, 
twenty-two ordained ministers, and a membership numbering 
two thousand, six hundred and eighty-two. 

The Vermont ministers were Leland Howard, Aaron Leland, 
R. M. Ely, J. Freeman, David Sweet, Samuel Kingsbury, Samuel 
Lawson, Joel Manning, Joseph Elliott, Daniel Packer, Timothy 
Grow, Samuel Pierce. 

In 1829, the New Hampshire churches had withdrawn to unite 
in associations within their owti state, leaving the Vermont church- 
es, eighteen in number; Windsor, Chester, Jamaica, Springfield, 
Cavendish, Grafton, Windham, 1st Townshend, W. Windsor, 
Andover, Rockingham and Westminster, Mount Holly, Hartland, 
Weston, Reading, Ludlow, 2nd Townshend, Londonderry. 

Since the division, the Woodstock Association has occupied 
practically the same ground with few changes. 

In 1791, the number of churches was thirty-one, and of mem- 
bers one thousand, five hundred and ninety-eight, showing an 
increase of five churches and five hundred and eighty-four mem- 
bers in the first six years of its history. In the year, 1800, with 
thirty churches, the number of members was one thousand, six 
hundred and seventy -nine, and the additions were two hundred and 
eighty -two. The year preceding the session of 1800 must have 
been one of great refreshing to many of the churches, for thirty-six 
had been added to the church in Windsor, seventy -nine to that in 
Chester, thirty-eight to that in Plainfield, fifty-two to Grafton, 
twenty to Lebanon, thirty-three to Chelsea and Tunbridge. This 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 227 

refreshing also characterised the following year in which two 
hundred and thirty-two additions are reported. In 1832, the 
additions to the churches were five hundred and seventy-six by 
baptism, and the entire membership reached the number two 
thousand, six hundred and sixty-three. In 1839, the membership 
had reached the number of two thousand, nine hundred and 
seventy-one. From that time, from various causes, the member- 
ship has declined gradually, with occasional years of increase. 

West Windsor, Reading and Hartland have become extinct; 
Jamaica, Townshend churches, and Windham have withdrawn to 
unite with the Windham County Association; in compensation for 
lost members the churches in Felchville, East Wallingford, Perkins- 
ville. Bellows Falls and Windsor have been added. In 1811, the 
Association consisted of fifteen churches with thirteen pastors, 
and a membership of fourteen hundred and thirty-eight, of whom 
nine hundred and fourteen were counted resident. 

The Association, in the minutes for 1786, recorded its Senti- 
ments, Plan and Articles of Faith, a copy of which, for their histori- 
cal value, is here given in their original form. 



Sentiments, etc. 

1st. That such a combination of churches is not only pru- 
dent, but useful, as has appeared even in America, by the experi- 
ence of upward of sixty years. Some of the uses of it are union 
and connnunion among themselves, maintaining more effectually 
the order and faith once delivered to the saints, having advice in 
cases of difficulty, and help in distress, being more able to ])romote 
the good of the cause. 

2nd. That such an Association is consistent with the inde- 
pendence and power of particular churches, because it pretends to 
be no other than advisory council, utterly disclaiming superiority, 
jurisdiction, coercive right and infallibility. 

3d. That an Association should consist of men knowing and 
judicious, particularly in the scriptures. The reasons are obvious. 
Such men are the fittest to represent comnmnities, who profess 



228 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

the scriptures to be the only rule of faith and practice in religious 
matters, who expect that every advice opinion or direction they 
receive from an Association should be scriptural. 

They should be skillful and expert in the laws of their God, 
as counsellors are in the laws of the land, for that is the ground 
of the churches application to them. 

Plan 

1st. The Association to consist only of messengers chosen 
and sent by the churches; those messengers to be judicious men as 
described in the sentiment the third. Their expenses to be borne 
by the churches which send them. 

2nd. With the messengers the churches send letters addressed 
to the Association : In the letters mention is made of the names of 
the messengers and their authority to act for their churches. 

Also the state of their churches, touching their peace, their 
increase by baptism and by letter, dismissions and commendatory 
from other churches, touching their diminution by death, excom- 
munication, and dismission to other churches, and the present 
number of members. If any questions are to be put to the Associa- 
tion, any advice to ask, or business to propose, these are to be ex- 
pressed in said letters. 

3d. All matters to be determined in this Association by the 
suffrages of the messengers, except what are determinable by 
scripture: Such matters are never put to the decision of vote. 

All that speak are to address the moderator, who is to take 
care that none be interrupted while speaking, and that no other 
indecorum takes place. 

4th. Churches are to be received into the Association by 
petition, setting forth their desire to be admitted, their faith and 
order, and willingness to be conformable to the rules of associated 
body. When it is read and the matter ripened for a vote, the 
moderator states the question. Suffrage being given in favor of 
the petition, the said moderator declares that such a church is 
received into the Association in token of which he gives the mes- 
sengers the right hand of fellowship, and bids them take their seats. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT '229 

5th. The Association to meet annually, at Woodstock, or else- 
where as the Association shall choose, on the third Wednesday in 
August, at one o'clock in the afternoon, and continue until business 
be finished. It is to be opened with divine service after which a 
moderator and clerk are chosen, letters from the churches are 
read, names of the messengers are written, that they may be 
called over at after meetings; then business is attended to, minutes 
thereof made, a circular letter to the churches is prepared and 
signed, and a copy of it sent to every church, containing the minutes 
of the Association, the state of the churches, and when and by whom 
vacancies are to be supplied, who to preach, the next Association 
sermon, and whatever else is needful for the churches to know. 

6th. A connection to be formed and maintained between this 
Association and that of the Warren, and that of Shaftsbury by 
annual letters and messengers from us to them. 

7th. The faith and order of this Association is essentially 
that contained in what follows : 

1. A belief in the display of God's divine righteousness in 
his moral government, when he made and situated man, and gave 
him such a law as he did. 

2. That man is, by sin, totally depraved and destitute of 
original righteousness, whereby he is wholly averse to every in- 
clination to his duty, insomuch that despair and death are in all 
his actions, before regeneration; although Christ completed a 
righteousness l)y fulfilling the law and satisfying justice for the 
justification of all that believe. 

3. That man's salvation is wholly in and by Christ. 

(l) By his complete atonement for us. ("2) iBy his victorious 
grace, conquering our hearts by the power of his spirit in regenera- 
tion and the renewing of the Holy Ghost unto final perseverance. 
(4) Divine sovereignty is the glorious election of grace on whom 
he will have mercy, while he leaves the rest to the reward of dis- 
obedience, of which none have cause to complain, for every mouth 
shall be stopped. 

(5) Immersion for baptism, and that on profession of faith 
and repentance. (6) Strict gospel liberty and independency of 
churches, agreeable to ancient Congregational platfonn, and recep- 



230 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

tion into them upon evidences of sound conversion; all which is 
more largely set forth in a confession put forth by upward of an 
hundred congregations (in Great Britain) in the year 1689, and 
adopted by the Association of Philadelphia, in 1742, and by 
Warren Association, in 1767, etc. 

The Association opened correspondence with the other 
Associations, the Warren, the Shaftsbury, and the New Hamp- 
shire, prepared circular letters and correspondence letters, and 
sent them out, and welcomed the delegates from other bodies. 

The reading of letters from the constituent churches was an 
important part of the sessions, the answering of queries were 
given carefully. 

The first mission work of the Association was within its own 
bounds. At each annual gathering, arrangements were made for 
the supply of pastorless churches, as far as possible. Places were 
designated and dates fixed for all the pastors, and the weaker 
churches were not allowed to go long without preaching. 

These lists of appointments bear witness to the careful thought 
given to this work, and to the sincere interest of the stronger 
churches, and the pastors of them, in the welfare of their weaker 
organizations. 

Rev. Thomas Baldwin, afterward pastor of the Second church 
in Boston, was active in this sort of itineracy, and in reminiscence 
of this he wrote as follows: "There were few towns within the 
space of fifty miles around in which I did not occasionally preach. 
In this warfare I went chiefly at my own charges; (a few churches 
visited for the Association made small compensation, and individ- 
uals, but I do not recollect that during the whole of that period, in 
all my journeyings, I received a public contribution). , . The 
roads are since so improved that it would be difficult to persuade 
the traveler now-a-days that they had ever been as bad as the 
early settlers represent." 

At the session of the Association in 1788, Thomas Baldwin 
preached " a suitable sermon, " and in the record of that year is this 
quaint and interesting minute: "Elder Baldwin, as appointed, 
exhibited his performance on this point; 'Whether the Baptists 
and the Pedo-baptists can commune together,' which was read 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 231 

and approved, and requested to be forwarded to the press. " The 
pubHcation of this paper called out a reply, two years after, from 
Rev. Noah Worcester, of Thornton, N. H., and to this Mr. Bald- 
win replied in March, 1794, which reply was so heartily approved 
and prized that it passed into the second edition in about two 
months. His argument was, that the controversy all turned upon 
the two questions : Who are the subjects of baptism according to 
the law of Christ? 2. What is the mode of manner of baptism 
which He hath instituted? It is a fact of interest that the Wood- 
stock Association had something to do in leading Thomas Baldwin 
into the field of authorship, in defense of the tenets of the de- 
nomination then under assault. 

In 1790, the Association was agitated over the information 
that several new editions of the Bible were likely to be published, 
and were requested to unite with several other religious bodies in 
a petition to Congress of the United States that no edition l)e pub- 
lished, but under the inspection of a committee of their appointing, 
to see that no alterations or errors take place. Elder Jedediah 
Hebljard and Deacon Joseph Thompson were appointed a com- 
mittee in behalf of the Association to petition Congress that the 
Bible be not printed, but under their inspection. 

The meeting of 1791 was marked by action of special interest 
and importance. It marked the beginning of missionary efforts 
in destitute places lieyond the bounds of the Association. Action 
was taken as follows: "Whereas, we find a number of our brethren 
in the ministry, viz.. Elders Jedediah Hebbard, Joseph Call, Nehe- 
miah Woodward, and John Hebbard, disposed to journey to the 
northward to preach the Gospel in a great number of infant settle- 
ments up the Connecticut, in upper Coos country ; also to journey 
through the north part of the State of Vermont, even as far as 
Caldwell's Manor, within the Canada line; being desirous to en- 
courage so laudable design, we recommend them as faithful min- 
isters of Christ, wishing them much of the grace of God, that they 
may seethe fruits of their labors. And as the journey will be very 
expensive, we recommend to the churches to raise .somethiug by 
contribution to defray the charges of said mhiisters in their jour- 
ney." This, savs Dr. T. H. Archibald, is the earliest record of 



232 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

which we have found any trace of missionary effort beyond their 
own bounds, by any body of Baptists in this country, although 
there was no special organization, separate from the Association 
itself, for the promotion of this object. The earliest distinct 
society for this purpose was formed in the Shaftsbury Association 
in 1802. 

The following year, 1792, these brethren made so encouraging 
a report of their travels and ministry that the Association made 
this record: 

"Resolved, that it would be expedient for some of our minis- 
tering brethren again to make a tour to that quarter. Whereupon, 
Elders Jedediah Hebbard and Ebenezer Bailey offered them- 
selves to make a visit this fall up the Connecticut River; and Elders 
Joseph Call, Isaiah Stone and John Hebbard up the Lake Cham- 
plain to Canada, — who by this Association are recommended as able 
ministers of Jesus Christ, hoping the Lord may make them very use- 
ful to the people. And as their journey is expensive, we recommend 
to our brethren that some contributions, as before, may be made for 
them." These brethren carried out their purpose and reported 
their success to the Association, upon which the general recom- 
mendation was recorded that our brethren in the ministry travel 
as much as can be convenient, as the people are very destitute 
in those parts. 

This volunteer mission work was continued from year to 
year, wilh the approval of the Association and its cordial support, 
till it w as thought expedient to organize a society specially devoted 
to the promotion of this work. 

In 1794, the Association adopted rules of decorum, whether 
to correct errors or to provide for future good order, we can only 
conjecture. 1. Only one person shall speak at a time, who shall 
rise from his seat and address the moderator when he is about to 
make his speech. 2. The person thus speaking shall not be in- 
terrupted in his speech by any except the moderator till he has 
done speaking. 3. He shall strictly adhere to the subject under 
consideration, and in no wise reflect on the person, or persons, who 
spoke before, so as to make remarks on his or their slips, failings or 
imperfections. 4. No person shall speak more than three times 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 'SJ33 

on one subject, and shall not exceed fifteen minutes in either speech 
without liberty from the Association. 5. The moderator shall 
not interrupt any member or prohibit him from speaking, except 
he breaks the rules of this decorum. 6. No member shall have 
the liberty of laughing during the sitting of the same; nor whisper- 
ing in the time of a public speech. 7. No person shall abruptly 
break off or absent himself from the Association without liberty 
obtained from it. 8. The names of the several members of the 
Association shall be enrolled by the clerk, and called again as often 
as the Association requires. 9. The moderator shall be entitled 
to the same privilege of speech as any member, provided the chair 
shall be filled by the clerk, or any other member, during the time 
he is speaking. 10. Every member who shall break any of the 
above contained rules shall be reproved by the Association as they 
shall think proper. 

In 1804, Elders Seaman and Kendrick and Higbee were ap- 
pointed a committee to form a plan for a missionary society \ 
September 26, 1806, the society was organized, and carried on the 
work with system and vigor. The men ready for this kind of 
service were Samuel Smith, Jeremiah Higbee, Joel Manning, \Vm. 
Elliot, Ariel Kendrick, Elijah Wiley, Stephen Choat, Jabes Cottle, 
Thomas Baker. These men went upon journeys of two months' 
duration, usually, though sometimes shorter journeys were made. 
In 1809, three such journeys were made; in 1810, five; and in 1811, 
as many more. Their journeys were usually about five or six 
hundred miles. Elder Manning giving an account of one of his 
travels said: ''I have tried to preach forty -five times, have passed 
through fifty-eight towns, and have rode five hundred and forty 
miles." Besides public services they made many family visits and 
preached what they were pleased to call chimney corner sermons. 

Now and then they had the opportunity to baptize converts 
and were always welcomed by the scattered people, and did a 
great amount of good. For this arduous and important service 
they received from the society treasury^ at the rate of five dollars 
per week. 

Illustrative of the watchfulness of the Associations over each 
other and of the Associations themselves over their ovn\ members. 



234 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

in 1812, a communication was received from the Vermont Associa- 
tion that they had received impressions that some of the members 
of the Woodstock Association were heterodox in sentiment and 
requested information. A committee of inquiry was appointed, 
and in 1814, Elders Jeremiah Higbee and Joel Manning submitted 
to the committee a statement of their belief concerning the Son- 
ship of Christ. The Association voted disapproval of the senti- 
ments expressed, but, in view of the pleasant connection between 
them and these brethren, they resolved to postpone action in hope 
that the brethren would return to soundness of faith. 

The result was as anticipated, and the two brethren made 
further statements retracting the former ones and were fellow- 
shiped accordingly. 

The year, 1814, memorable in the history of American Bap- 
tists in general, as the date when the General Missionary Con- 
vention of the Baptist Denomination in the United States for 
Foreign Missions was organized, was an eventful one in the history 
of this Association. At this session Luther Rice was present, and 
under the inspiring influence of his words and presence, great 
interest was aroused in the work of foreign missions, and a com- 
mittee consisting of Kendrick, Going and Manning was appointed, 
to report on the expediency of forming a society in this vicinity, 
for the promotion of foreign missions. That committee reported 
in favor of such an organization, and the society was formed during 
that session. In 1816, this society had received $826.51 and 
had remitted to the treasury, at Boston, $600. In 1818, they 
remitted $300. Says Dr. Archibald, "If now we remember that 
in that year, 1818, all the receipts from the whole country were 
only $8,076.51, that in that year Massachusetts paid only $676.51 
and Connecticut only $316.51, we shall see that this Association 
was doing much more than its proportionate share of sustaining 
the infant enterprise." 

The year 1814, was marked by another enterprise on the part 
of the Association. The record is as follows: "As a request from 
the first church in Windsor was brought forward to the Associa- 
tion to encourage the formation of a Charitable Education Society 
for the purpose of improving the minds of pious youth, who are 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 235 

called to the Gospel ministry, appointed Brn. Leland, Higbee, 
Lampson, Bradley, Elliott, Kendrick, Going, Dea. Manning, 
Abner Forbes, Hon. Judge Fletcher, of Cavendish, to meet at Wind- 
sor, of the first of January next, 1815, at two o'clock p. m., to form 
a constitution for an Education Society, and print a circular for 
the churches. Also the churches are requested to contribute in 
the course of the year for this laudable purpose and forward the 
same by their messengers to the next Association." The reports 
of tliis society show that it was very cordially and generously 
sustained during its existence. In the report for 1822 is an item 
of interest. Donation by Wm. Cheney for B. Stow. This bene- 
ficiary was doubtless Baron Stowe, who was at that time a student 
in Columbian College, D. C. The Treasurer's reports indicate that 
the women of the churches were specially interested in this w^ork, 
socks, cotton shirts, fulled cloth, appearing with items of cash from 
Female Mite Societies, and individual sisters. 

Both the Missionary Society and the Education Society con- 
tinued their w^ork till 1826, when by vote they were both dissolved, 
and transferred their work to the Vermont and New Hampshire 
Baptist State Conventions, then just formed. 

This Association took a deep interest in the educational in- 
stitutions of the State, commending Brandon Academy, Leland 
and Gray Academy, Black River, New Hampton Institute, and 
Vermont Academy, to the co-operation, prayers and benefactions 
of the j)eople. 

In 1845, the Association pledged itself to furnish the means 
for the support of a missionary in the foreign field, under the 
direction of the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions, with the re- 
quest that the missionary thus supported should make yearly 
communications, to this body, and oftener if he may deem it ad- 
visable. The cost of this enterprise was apportioned among the 
churches, in sums ranging from ten to fifteen dollars for each of 
the smaller churches, and from thirty-five to fifty dollars for each 
of the larger churches. A committee of one from each church was 
appointed to carry out this plan. E. Hutchinson, of Windsor, was 
appointed to do the corresponding with the Board at Boston. 



236 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

The proposition of the Association was pleasing to the Board, 
and Rev. Nathan Brown, of the Assam Mission, became the 
missionary of the Woodstock Association upon the foreign field, 
and an interesting letter from him each year, during his mission on 
that field gave special interest to the sessions of the Association. 
The salary of the missionary was increased in 1847 to $600, and 
the assessments upon the churches increased accordingly, the 
total assessments amounting to $674. 

It is greatly to the honor of the Woodstock Association to 
have been thus associated with Nathan Brown, translator of the 
New Testament into the languages of the Assamese and the Japa- 
nese. 

The name of Aaron Leland will always stand at the head of 
the list of honored leaders of this Association. Though not the 
founder of it, he was more truly than any other the father of it. 
From 1786, till his death in 1832, he gave his influence to the church- 
es of this organization. Twenty-six years he served as moderator. 
These were in three periods of eight successive years each, and 
two at intervals. Six sessions he was the preacher of the annual 
sermon. He was the author of three circular letters, and one 
corresponding letter. He was appointed first on a committee 
to draft a constitution for an Education Society. He was Presi- 
dent of the Board of the Union Missionary Society of New Hamp- 
shire, and Vermont. In 1823, he was appointed delegate to Mont- 
pelier to consider the expediency of forming the Vermont Baptist 
State Convention. His activity in civil affairs was a cause of 
grief to some of his weaker brethren. As early as 1804 he had 
been sent for the fourth time to the State Legislature, as Representa- 
tive of his town, Chester. That year the Association was called 
upon by delegates from the Plainfield church to answer the query, 
"Does it agree with the doctrine or example of Christ or his Apostles 
for ministers of the gospel to be ministers of State or to be in any 
civil or military office?" The answer given by the Association 
was that "We conceive that those whom Christ has called into the 
ministry have enough to do in his kingdom, without being en- 
tangled in the affairs of this life, according to 1 Tim. 4:13, to the 
end, and 2 Tim. 2: 3, 4." This was no doubt covertly aimed at 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 237 

Mr. Leland. The following year the Vermont Association passed 
a resolution, openly censuring Mr. Leland for this, and calling 
upon the Woodstock Association to take some action in regard to 
the matter. 

In 1806, the Association gave serious consideration to this 
complaint, but finally dismissed it on the ground that the com- 
plainants had not produced any evidence that they had taken the 
previous labors mth Elder Leland, that the Gospel requires. 
Henceforth he was left undisturbed by the Association in the 
enjoyment of his civil honors, and in the discharge of his arduous 
duties, as one of the foremost christian citizens in his state. 

Elder Daniel Packer was another man of influence in the 
early days. Ordained pastor of the Mount Holly church in 1811, 
he continued in that office without interruption thirty -five years, 
and under his administration, this church increased from its origi- 
nal membership of thirty to become one of the largest, if not the 
largest church in the State. In 1842, as appears from the record, 
this church numbered four hundred and sixty-six members, and 
this too, after forty-two members had been dismissed, in 1830, to 
form the new church in East Wallingford, and about the same 
number to form the cluirch in the adjoining town of Plymouth and 
Shrewsbury in 1833. Mr. Packer was chosen moderator at nine 
sessions of the Association. 

There are other names that will always be associated with this 
association where the most of their life work was wrought. Jabes 
Cottle, Job Seamans, Samuel Ambrose, Jeremiah Higbee, Nathan- 
iel Kendrick, C. W. Hodges, Benjamin Briarly, Horace Fletcher, 
Joel IVIanning, Elijah Hutchinson, Ira Pearson, Baxter Burrows 
and Joseph Freeman. 

In the town of Reading originated a notable family of minis- 
ters: Jonathan Going, D. D., Ezra Going, James Going and Eliab 
Going. Jonathan Going was a graduate of Brown University, and 
probably the earliest college graduate among the ministers of 
Vermont. He was ordained in Cavendish in 1811, and was the 
first pastor of that church. From the church in Windsor, came 
S. S. CuttiTig, I). D. In Cavendish originated Addison Parker, 
J. W. Parker, D. D., and I. II. Parker, I). I)., all of whom have at- 
tained prominence and rendered valuable service in the mini.stry 



238 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

One of the first queries in this Association was concerning 
family prayer, "Is it a crime for a brother to neglect constant 
family prayer?" The reply of the Association was: "It is the 
opinion of this body that praying in and for and worshipping 
God with our families is incumbent on us as christians, and 
neglecting the same daily is contrary to the Holy Scriptures, and 
practice of the people of God, whose character is therein 
exhibited, dishonorable to God, contrary to our profession as 
christians, and a matter of grief to the dear people of God." 

The question, "Is it expedient or for the honor of religion to 
ascribe the title of Reverend to our Elders?" received the brief 
answer "No." 

"Is it necessary that Elders or brethren become Masons?" 
received the same answer, "No." This was in 1804. 

When the question was brought up in 1867, "Ought churches 
to approve of secret societies and fellowship members, who belong 
to, and take an active part as members and officers in such socie- 
ties?" The conservative reply was, "It is well known that a 
decided difference of judgment exists in this Association itself 
upon the subject suggested by this inquiry. As the whole value 
of a recommendation from this body consists in the moral power 
which arises from something approaching unanimity in its utter- 
ance, your committee deem it inexpedient to express any opinion on 
this point, other than to earnestly entreat the churches carefully 
to administer the law of Christ, while at the same time they seek 
for the things that make for peace and things whereby they may 
edify one another. " 

In 1795, the question was presented, "Is it a transgression 
of Gospel rule to admit a person who is a member of no church to 
sit in council, when said council is called to assist in ordination 
or other important affair of the church. " 

The Association united in the reply, "It is the opinion of this 
Association that although it would be contrary to Gospel rule to 
admit a man who is not a member of any church to sit in council, 
to act authoritatively, yet circumstances may exist which would 
not only render it allowable but expedient to take the advice of 
serious, judicious men in certain difficulties." 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 239 

In 1798, discussions upon the doctrines of predestination and 
perseverance of the saints raised the question, "Whether we can 
ruleably hold fellowship with any people who deny both." 

x\nswer. "We take it for granted that the churches which 
compose this Association are agreed in these two great truths. 
Therefore, we view the doctrineof predestination and the persever- 
ance of saints to be clearly revealed in the word of God, insepara- 
bly connected with the doctrine of Christ and the faith which was 
once delivered to the saints, that the glory of God and the salva- 
tion of depraved men are so dependent on these important truths 
that a regular church of Christ can by no means ruleably commune 
with those who either in single capacity or church state, deny 
them." 

The following peculiar question calls attention to a singular 
case, "Is it right to hold fellowship with a brother who has made 
an attempt to cast out devils and continues to justify his conduct? " 

Answer. "It is the opinion of this Association that it is not. " 

The following question was doubtless aimed at Elder Aaron 
Leland, and gave the Association an opportunity to give an early 
endorsement of christian citizenship. The question was raised 
in 1810: "Is it agreeable to Scripture rule for christian brethren to 
take active i)ai1: in making or executing human laws?" 

Answer. "It is the opinion of the Association that brethren 
not engaged in the Gospel ministry% are not prohibited by divine 
rule from taking active part in either the legislative or executive 
department; that it would be a real blessing to the community at 
large, if the members of both were true lovers of righteousness, for 
when the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice, but when 
the wicked bear rule the people mourn. Proverbs 19: 2." 

Concerning the duty of members contributing proportionately 
to the sup])ort of preaching, the Association ruled, " We recommend 
to the churches to l)e very careful to make their assessments 
equitable, and when so made, if any brother refuses to submit to 
them we think he ought to be discii)lined, and if he persists in his 
refusal, be excluded." 

The answers to queries reveal a commendable judicial spirit 
in the Association as a body, but also suggest a disposition on the 



240 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

part of the questioners not so clearly commendable. Concerning 
the custom of asking questions and the outcome of it, Elder Sabin 
wrote in his personal recollections: "The questions were some of 
them amusing, and some of them perplexing, and most of them came 
from persons whose minds were made up on the questions and they 
did not so much want instruction themselves, as to express and 
impose their opinion upon others. They were often designed to 
drive certain persons or churches to take stand upon some dis- 
puted point or topic, and so to definitely make a line of division 
that was indistinctly drawn before. It seemed to form for a cer- 
tain class of minds an opportunity to keep the waters so agitated 
that the sediment could not settle and its transparency seldom 
appeared, and for many years the practice has wholly disap- 
peared. " 



Chapter XVI 

LATER ACCOUNT OF THE CHURCHES IN THE 
WOODSTOCK ASSOCIATION 

Windsor 

Baptists were among the first settlers of the to%\Ti of Windsor. 
As early as March 26, 1779, Roswell Smith and Joseph Thompson 
were dismissed from the Congregational church, East Parish, 
"to build with the Baptists." Mrs. Thompson, wife of Joseph, 
was dismissed April 1 , the same year. Joel Butler, who afterward 
preached in Woodstock, was disnjissed November 15, 1780, and 
his wife, October 4. Captain Steel Smith, the first settler of the 
town, a member of the Congregational church in Windsor prior 
to April 4, 1779, was dismissed (date not known), "to the Baptist 
church. " He united at Windsor by letter from the Baptist church 
in Woodstock, December 30, 1789. 

The church relationship these dismissed members of the 
Congregational church held, was with the Baptist church in 
Woodstock. 

Baptist preaching at that time was occasionally enjoyed in 
Windsor. Elder Peak, in his autobiography, refers to a Sabbath, 
August 9, 1785, when Mr. Peckins, of Claremont, preached in the 
forenoon, and Mr. Joel Butler, of Woodstock, in the afternoon, 
on which day also the Lord's Supper was observed. The services 
were held in a i)rivate house, as they continued to be for several 
years. 

The first record in the church book is as follows: 

"Whereas, a branch of the First Baptist church in Woodstock, 
living in Windsor, State of Vermont, met l)y mutual agreement in 
the house of Deacon J. Thompson, on the tiiird day of December, 
1785, to confer respecting buikling a church in Windsor, having 



242 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

previous liberty therfore from the Woodstock church, proceeded 
to unite under the character of the First Baptist church in Wind- 
sor, and signed a covenant. " Signed by three brethren, Frederic 
Burnham, John Gill, and Joseph Thompson. Roswell Smith 
joined January 5, Joseph Drake and Bela Rogers on the 12th of 
the same month, on which day it was voted, "Brother Smith is 
received with his gift, as recommended from Woodstock." April 
20, Mr. Smith was called to constant improvement. He being 
present, consented to it." 

This church was received into the Woodstock Association at 
its anniversary in Sutton, N. H., in 1786, and the following year 
the Association met with the church in Windsor, holdmg their 
session in the Congregational church. West Parish. 

Various persons preached to this newly formed church during 
the first years of its existence. Besides Roswell Smith, the names 
are mentioned of Elder Ransom, E. Ainsworth, and J. Peckins. 
The arrangments to meet the expense of preaching were very 
simple. October 12, 1786, a committee was raised to examine 
Brother Roswell Smith's outward circumstances, who reported, 
recommending that about five pounds should be raised, and this, 
as another committee subsequently reported, "by equality." 
The year following the church raised five pounds in produce, equal 
to wheat at five shillings, to be stored in the house of Brother J. 
Thompson, and applied as the church should think best hereafter. 
This amount was divided, to Elder J. Peckins, for his past labors 
of love, one pound, four shillings; to Elder Peak, eighteen shillings, 
for like work, and three pounds for regular pastoral services. 
Elder Peak, who had previously preached to the church occasional- 
ly, was invited October 13, 1787, to become pastor of the church, 
and subsequently another vote was passed, as follows: 

"November 5. Met by sudden notice at the house of Joseph 
Thompson, chose John Gill, Moderator; voted in addition to the 
first vote passed October 13, (viz.) to call on Brother John Peak 
to come with his family and lead in the worship of God with us, 
as long as we shall think it is for God's glory and our oyvn comfort 
and edification. " 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 243 

A committee appointed to look up a house for Brother Peak 
reported that the church could have the house of Mr. Jacob Patrick, 
knowTi by the name of Dad Hall's House, the use of it to be judged 
by indifferent men, in case we did not agree to pay do\vn one 
thousand large nails and four thousand small nails. 

Elder Peak moved with his family to Windsor, November, 
1787. The church then numbered eleven, of which five were 
males. During the winter considerable interest prevailed and 
conversions ensued. Mr. Peak was ordained the first pastor of 
the church, June 18, 1788. William Grow presided; Eben Bailey 
offered ordaining prayer; Joseph Cornell gave the charge; Joseph 
Call the hand of fellowship. On the Saljbath following, the newly 
ordained pastor baptized several young converts, and during the 
summer about thirty. The attendance was soon too large for 
private houses. The meetings were removed from Sabbath to 
Sabbath to different parts of the to^ni, to give all a share. For 
a while a hall over the school room in the West Parish was oc- 
cupied. When Rev. Pelatiah Chapin closed his labors with the 
Congregational church in the West Parish, an invitation was 
extended to the Baptists to use the house in that parish, when not 
otherwise occupied. The three men who earnestly opposed this 
matter were afterward won over in a remarkable manner. One, 
who carried a large cane, and who said, "Peak will not get by me 
into the pulpit, " was, a few days afterward, at a funeral, melted 
to tears under Mr. Peak's sermon, and became a constant friend. 
Another who said, "He had rather see hell-fire in the j^ulpit than 
to see Peak there, " had a little daughter scalded to death, about a 
week after the parish meeting, and in a few months after, his only 
boy was drowmed. Mr. Peak attended both funerals; the father 
and mother were both brought to Jesus, and were baptized by Mr. 
Peak. The third, who said with an oath, "He ^^^shed the house 
was in flames," called for Mr. Peak about two weeks after the 
parish meeting with his wife, who was deeply convicted for sin. 
The wife was soon after baptized and her husband continued a 
firm friend of Mr. Peak's. The opposition being removed, the 
church occu])ied the meeting-house in West l^arish the remainder 
of Mr. Peak's pastorate in town. "Almost every family in the 



244 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

parish," says Mr. Peak in his autobiography, "and many in the 
East Parish attended our meetings, and members were added to 
the church from Hartland, Weathersfield and Reading. Mr. Peak's 
pastorate continued in Windsor about five years, and the church 
was increased from eleven to seventy-five members. Mr. Peak 
was a tailor by trade, and for lack of adequate suppoil much of 
his time was diverted from the ministry to support himself and 
family. Other churches appreciated his gifts, and were willing to 
let him give himself wholly to the ministry of the Word. He re- 
moved to Deerfield, N. H., in June, 1793, and died in Boston, 
Mass., in 1841, "full of years greatly respected, leaving behind 
him abundant fruit as the result of a faithful ministry." 

Roswell Smith served a successful pastorate from March 18, 
1793, till 1800, followed by William Ewing, 1800-1803. Samuel 
Sweet, 1803-1804. About 1802 a meeting-house was built but 
never finished inside, about four miles west of Windsor East 
Parish, and about the same time a church ivas constituted in West 
Parish. This church existed till 1842. Samuel Lamson was 
pastor throughout its life. From a membership of between thirty 
and forty it reached the number fifty-five, and maintained for 
several years a membership of about fifty. Its decline was some- 
what rapid. 

Daniel Bigbee was pastor of the East Parish church in 1810, 
and that year thirty-eight w^ere added. Jabez Cottle served two 
years, 1811-1813; Joshua Bradley 1814-1816, a period of marked 
progress. The brick meeting-house still occupied, was built at 
that time. Leland Howard was ordained sixth pastor October 
23, 1816, and served till October, 1822, followed by Romeo Elton, 
one year, and M. W. Williams, one year. C. S. Hale ordained 
August 2, 1826, served till November, 1828. Leland Howard be- 
gan a second pastorate in 1829 and served till August, 1833. This 
pastorate was a continual revival in which one hundred and nine 
were added by baptism, and eleven were received by letter, and 
the membership became one hundred and ninety-eight. Then 
began the long pastorate of Elijah Hutchinson, 1835-1860. The 
first year of this pastorate was marked by an extensive ingather- 
ing, when eighty-four were baptized. Annual accessions continued 




Deacon B. A. Pakk, Chester 

McmlxM-of ( '(invent i..n lloard 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT "245 

to be made. In 1843 and 1844, another special interest occurred 
and the number of members became two hundred and fifty-four, 
its maximum figure. 

Mr. Hutchinson was succeeded by G. S. Abbott, 1861 ; S. K. 
Dexter, 1865; S. M. Whiting, 1869; A. H. Ball, 1872; W. M. Mick, 
1876; J. M. Hull, 1880; F. W. Preble, 1885; W. C. Carr, 1887; S. 
D. Moxley, 1890; E. H. Sweet, 1894; E. W. Potter, 1895; F. E. 
Coburn, 1898; Thomas Cain, 1901; G. W. Clough, 1906; A. B. 
McLaurin, 1909; J. E. Naylor, 1910; E. S. Doloway, 1911. Sixty- 
one were received to membership during the three years of Mr. 
Whiting's pastorate, but a large number were dismissed or dropped 
from the roll, twenty-eight were added in 1874, twenty -two in 
1906. There has been no general revival for many years. Present 
membership, (1912) fifty-five. 

Chester 

July 4, 1813, William Howard was baptized and received 
into the church. The next year he was chosen clerk and served 
in that office till his death, sixty-two years. He was also deacon, 
faithful in his duties, and greatly beloved. From 1823 to 1825 
an unhappy difficulty arose between a small but influential portion 
of the church and Elder Leland. Leland was painfully affected 
by the assaults of his opposers. The church, too, were deeply 
affected. After long labor they excluded eleven disaffected mem- 
bers, and wrote letters of fellowship to their pastor. A council 
was called which proved one of marked abilit3^ Elder Leland was 
found to have exhibited a spirit more ambitious for secular honors, 
and less meek and gentle than was becoming, but all the more 
serious charges against him were declared unfounded. The ex- 
cluded persons were reproved as having dishonored Christ, and 
were exhorted to repent, confess and seek re-admission to the 
church. The decision of the council quieted the painful contro- 
versy but a more effective healing remedy was at hand. In 1830, 
revival influences began to be felt and eleven were baptized, the 
church and the excluded members made mutual confessions and 
were reconciled. The revival became more powerful, and within 



246 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

fourteen months one hundred and fourteen had been added to the 
church by baptism and many others by restoration and experience 
and letter. While the revival spirit still lingered Elder Leland 
died, having served the church as pastor forty-three years from 
its organization. 

In 1832, a Simday school was organized and became an in- 
fluential department of the church work. The same year that 
Elder Leland died, Jacob S. McCullam, a young man and a licen- 
tiate began his ministry and the next year was ordained pastor, 
continuing three years, during which time a new and commodious 
meeting-house was erected, and twenty -three were added to the 
church by baptism. The losses, however, were many and the 
membership decreased from two hundred and thirty-seven to one 
hundred and ninety-seven. Ira Pearson was next pastor, 1835- 
1837, and forty-six were baptized by him, the membership becom- 
ing two hundred and three. Rev. R. M. Ely was pastor from 1837 
to 1842. In 1844, Rev. Reuben Sawyer became pastor and con- 
tinued in office nine years. During this, and a part of the preced- 
ing pastorate, the church appears to have been brought to the 
verge of ruin. The demon of discord was rampant. The record 
of disciplinary actions are painful to read. Very few were baptized 
and the membership declined to one hundred and seven. In 1834, 
under a kind providence. Rev. Ira Pearson came as a peacemaker, 
laboring with marked success. Troubles were in a measure healed. 
Thirteen were received by baptism in the year he served. The 
next year Rev. D. Burrows began a three years' pastorate. The 
church edifice was thoroughly repaired at a cost of $1,200. 
Rev. C. G. Gurr was pastor from 1858 to 1867, a peaceful 
pastorate, though accessions did not equal losses, and the mem- 
bership became one hundred and four. In 1867, Rev. Charles 
Hibbard, a returned missionary and skillful worker was called, 
and the same year, Rev. A. B. Earle, the evangelist, came to assist 
him in special meetings, in which most of the neighboring pas- 
tors assisted, and during that Associational year fifty were bap- 
tized into the fellowship of the church. Accessions continued 
annually, and during Mr. Hibbard's pastorate of seven years, 
one hundred and se^'enty-one were received into the church, one 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 247 

hundred and one by baptism, and seventy -one by letter, ex- 
perience and restoration. A healthful missionary spirit was stim- 
ulated. The next pastorate was one of continued advance. 
Rev. J. J. Townshend, ably sustamed by the people, had the 
pri\'ilege of welcoming sixty-one to membership in the six years 
of his stay. Rev. R. A. Wilson had a short term of about one 
year. Ernest L. Scott was pastor, 1884-1886; Rev. H. B. 
Tilden, 1888-1890; Rev. J. H. Robbins, 1892-1893; Rev. James E, 
Beach, 1895; Rev. J. M. Ashton, 1897-1898; Rev. Henry Crocker, 
1899-1906; R. M. Jones, 1906. During these years the church 
maintained a normal life, without extensive revivals and with- 
out serious reverses. The accessions have just about balanced 
the losses, which have been considerable. Rev. James M. Beach 
was specially winning in his manner and work, and in the short 
time he was here won their affection and esteem. His death, 
soon after leaving Chester, w^as an occasion of sincere grief, and 
his name is always mentioned with peculiar evidence of the hold 
he gained upon the hearts of the people. In 1900, the church 
erected a convenient parsonage, and in 1910, thoroughly renovated 
the church edifice at considerable expense. In benevolent enter- 
prises of the State and denomination it has taken a generous in- 
terest. Membership, one hundred and fifty-nine in 1912. 

Reading 

A Baptist church was organized in Reading Center in 1788, 
and that year was received into the Woodstock Association. The 
minutes of the Association are the only source of information 
available concerning this church. In 1790, sixteen members were 
added. The largest membership reported was in 1806, forty-one 
members. The Association provided for a few years that this 
church should have a few Sundays sup])lied by its strongest pastors. 
Thus in 1789, Elder Peck was appointed to supply their pulpit 
the third Sunday in l)eceml)er, Elder Aaron Leland, the first Sun- 
day in August, and Elder Elliot, the first Sunday in Deceml)er. 
In 1790, Elder Peak, and Elder Drew were appointed each for one 
Sunday, and in 1791, Elder Elliot. Elder Aaron Leland, and Elder 
Hibbard were the supplies. 



248 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

The names of the members who were sent as delegates to the 
Association were Asa Wilkins, Joseph Carpenter, Isaac Wilkins, 
Daniel Edson, Zimri Kendall, Isaac Kendall, Samuel White, 
Ephraim Hubbell, John Moore, Samuel Lamson, Samuel Buck, 
Lemuel Pierson, Jr. The church ceased to report to the Associa- 
tion in 1810, and doubtless became extinct about that time. 

North Springfield 

In a warrant for a town meeting in Springfield, issued February 
29, 1788, the second article read, "To see what the town will do 
respecting the Baptist Society." At an adjourned meeting held 
March 20, 1788, the record reads, "Voted to pass the second article 
which is to see what the town will do respecting the Baptist Soci- 
ety and consider the article respecting the meeting-house spot 
and the dimensions of the same." Of the same meeting the 
fourth item in the record is a vote that the Baptist Covenant and 
certificate be recorded. The covenant referred to is as follows: 

"Springfield, December 20, 1787. 
We, the subscribers, do by these presents, covenant and agree 
to form ourselves into a Society, in order to carry on the public 
worship of God, and to support the same among ourselves, accord- 
ing to that which we profess, as witness our hands. 
W'illiani Lockwood, Daniel Avery, 

Abraham Olney, Joseph Covel, Jr., 

John Griswold, Joshua Lockwood, 

Timothy Williams, Jr., James Dumphy, 

Benoni Lockwood, William Olney, 

Henry Lockwood, John Williams, 

Thomas Cook, Abraham W'illiams, 

Abraham Lockwood, Joseph L. Taylor, 

Daniel Field, Abraham Lockwood, 2d, 

Nicholas WiUiams, Nicholas Bragg, 

Joseph Lockwood, Darius Whitman, 

Jacob Lockwood, 2d, Eber Bly, 

Amos Randal, Thomas Corlew, 

Benjamin Olney. " 




Hon. Fred G. Field, North Sj)riiigfield 
Formerly Inspector of State Finance 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 249 

Immediately after this is the recorded certificate, viz., 
"These may certify, to all to whom these presents may come, 
and to the Selectmen of the town of Springfield, County of Wind- 
sor, and State of Vermont in particular, that William Lockwood, 
(and the twenty-six others as above) all inhabitants of the town 
of Springfield, are members of the Baptist Society of Springfield. 
Given under my hand at Springfield, this twenty-second day 
of March, 1788. Signed by order and in behalf of the Society. 

Thomas Cook, 

Moderator." 

For some time pre^•ious to its sej^arate existence the North 
Springfield Baptist church had existed as a branch of the Baptist 
church in Chester, which was founded in 1789. In 1799, a power- 
ful revival increased the membership of the Chester church, and its 
branches, so that a division seemed desirable. Accordingly, on 
the thirty-first of August, 1803, a council consisting of delegates 
from the churches of Alstead, N. H., Jamaica, Vermont, and 
Wallingford, met in Chester and four branch churches were recog- 
nized and fellowshiped as independent churches. These were 
Andover, Cavendish, Grafton and North Springfield. Benedict 
in his history says: "This was an interesting day and the circum- 
stance is probably unparalleled in the history of our churches." 
Fifty-nine members constituted the church. The greater number 
of these were from Baltimore and Weathersfield, and the church 
was accordingly called the "Baltimore and Weathersfield church." 
The few among the original fifty -nine members, who resided in 
North Spring-field, were David Boynton, Matthew Pierce, Eber 
Bly, and James Miller of the brethren, and of sisters, Hannah 
Lamson, Pais Schofield, Lucy Griswold, Dolly Bly, Charlotte 
Cook, Ruth Schofield, Mercy Streeter and Lucy Miller. 

Beman Boynton was chosen moderator and Seth Houghton 
permanent clerk. The church promptly joined the Woodstock 
Association. David Boynton was ordained November 12, 1806. 
He was the first minister who preached a sermon in the town of 
Baltimore. Silas Bigelow was chosen deacon in 1807, and held 
office till his death in 1833. January 2, 1808, Deacon Beman 
Boynton was ordained pastor of the church. 



250 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

A large brick meeting-house was erected about 1815. Isaac 
Bucklin succeeded Elder Boynton in the pastorate, May, 1817, 
serving, however, only till November of the next year, and was fol- 
lowed by Reuel Lathrop, whose pastorate was also short. Richard 
M. Ely assumed the pastorate in 1820. A revival occurred the 
following spring and over seventy were baptized. Five of these 
converts subsequently became ministers. Louis Ranstead was 
licensed to preach in 1827, and Charles E. Toothaker in 1829. Mr. 
Ely resigned in 1830, after a pastorate of ten years in which the 
membership had increased from forty-two to one hundred and 
forty. Ezra Fisher was pastor from November, 1830, to November, 
1832, a period of remarkable prosperity, in which seventy were 
baptized, and the membership increased to two hundred and eight. 
During this term George C. Chandler was licensed. Mr. Fisher 
and his wife were dismissed that they might become missionaries 
in the West. Cyrus W. Hodge became pastor in 1833, and during 
a four years' term baptized eighty-nine, among whom were Foster 
Henry and J. R. Graves, who afterward became well-known as 
successful preachers of the Word. N. N. Wood was licensed. 

December 30, 1835, a new meeting-house was dedicated. 
The tide of prosperity had apparently reached its height. During 
the next two pastorates, that of M. D. Miller, 1837-1839, and Ben- 
jamin Briarly, 1839-1841, removals, deaths and a severe trial re- 
versed the fortunes of the church and caused it to lose somewhat 
its aggressive spirit. Rev. D. M. Crane came then under dis- 
couraging prospects, but a remarkably powerful revival commenced 
in 1843. Many were brought into agony of soul under conscious- 
ness of sin and condemnation, out of which they came into cor- 
responding joy. On ten successive Sabbaths the river was visited, 
and eighty-four were baptized, among whom were more than thirty 
heads of families, embracing the first citizens of the place in charac- 
ter and influence. 

Mr. Crane was followed by Nathaniel Cudworth, whose special 
work was that of training the new members, who had recently been 
received in such numbers. In September, 1849, Baxter Burrows 
was employed to preach one year and again a season of refreshing 
was enjoyed, and sixty-one were added to the church, thirty-eight 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 251 

by baptism. Mr. Burrows afterward wrote concerning this season: 
"The converts were born aHve. Their voices were heard in praise 
and prayer and testimony. They went right into the work of 
leading their associates to Jesus. Two of the converts entered the 
ministry. " 

Rev. J. W. Picknell became pastor in 1858, and continued till 
1867 when his earthly ministry was completed. The year 1863, 
was one of fearful mortality, seven of the church and fifteen of the 
Sunday school fell vmder that dread disease, diphtheria. Pastor 
and people suffered severely. The next year, however, was one of 
ingathering in which the strength of the pastor was severely taxed. 
The State Convention was entertained by the church in 1867, but 
the exercises were interrupted and suspended for the saddened 
church to bury their beloved pastor. Mr. Picknell was an emi- 
nently pious, industrious and faithful pastor. He was born in 
Fairfax, Vt., 1823, studied at New Hampton Institution, was or- 
dained in Hinesburgh. In 1855, he removed to Windham, and in 
1858, to North Springfield, and finished his course, September 28, 
1867. Cyprian P. Frenyear took up the work in November of the 
same year, and was followed a year later by D. M. Crane. During 
the five and a half years of this pastorate more than sixty persons, 
many of them aged, were buried. 

Robert G. Johnson, the historian of the church, from whose 
admirable accomit this sketch has been culled, was settled in 1875, 
and continued pastor till 1883. Since then the following have 
held the office, J. H. Robbins, 1884; W. W. Coombs, 1887-1888; 
W. P. Bartlett, 1889-1891; A. Chipman, 1892-1897; W. G. Corey, 
1899-1901; S. H. Archibald, 1902-1903; P. D. Root, 1904. 

By an ingathering in 1876, the membership which had been 
slowly declining in numbers for some years was raised from one 
hundred and twenty-two to one hundred and forty-two and for 
ten years was maintained above one hundred and forty, when 
again decline began, which was checked by an ingathering under 
Mr. Chipman, and the number reached one hundred and fifty-eight. 
S. H. Archibald, tluring his short stay, was permitted to welcome 
upward of thirty to the church, but a careful revision of the roll of 
members and the dropping of twenty -four names from it made the 



252 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 



report of members appear less. His sudden death was a heavy 
affliction to the church which was heartily co-operating with Mr. 
Archibald in upbuilding the cause of Christ in the place. The 
ministry of P. D. Root, one of healthy development along scrip- 
tural lines, led naturally to the remarkable interest in 1911, when 
special meetings were held with the aid of State Evangelist Hafer, 
and fifty-one were received to membership, thirty-nine of them 
by baptism. 

This church being a purely rural one, has received compara- 
tively few members by letter. Its losses by death and removal 
have been heavy. Forty members went out from this church to 
form the church in Perkinsville, and another company to form the 
church in Felchville, and in addition to this it should be recorded 
that the Baptist church in Union, Wisconsin, was founded mainly 
by members of this church who emigrated there. 

The constituent members of the North Springfield church were, 



Boynton, Beman, 
Boynton, David, 
Boynton, Ephraim, 
Boynton, John, 
Boynton, Jewett, Sr., 
Boynton, Betsey, 
Boynton, Betsey, 
Boynton, Hannah 
Boynton, Pamelia, 
Boynton, Phoebe, 
Boynton, Ruth, 
Boynton, Sarah, 
Bigelow, Silas, 
Bly, Eber, 
Bradish, Daniel, 
Bigelow, Elizabeth, 
Bly, Dolly, 
Bradish, Phoebe, 
Bryant, Elizabeth, 
Bumham, Polly, 



Houghton, Seth, 
Houghton, Sally, 
Jones, Hannah, 
Larabee, William, 
Larabee, Lamson, 
Larabee, Hannah, 
Lawrence, Hannah, 
Martin, Ebenezer, 
Miller, James, 
Martin, Mary, 
Miller, Lucy, 
Parker, Isaac, 
Piper, Noah, 
Pierce, Matthew, 
Piper, Sally, 
Piper, Sarah, 
Piper, Lucretia, 
Piper, Prudence, 
Russell, Ebenezer, 
Sherman, David, 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 253 

Culver, Justus, Schofield, Pais, 

Cheney, Priscilla, Schofield, Ruth, 

Chandler, Hannah, Sears, Elizabeth, 

Cook, Charlotte, Streeter, Mercy, 

Crane, Sarah, Temple, Frederick, 

Eddy, Amy, Upham, Phoebe, 

Graves, Hannah, Whitney, Ruth, 

Graves, Betsey, Young, Clotilda, 

Grout, Abigail, Young, Lucy, 

Griswold, Lucy, Wood, William. 

Grafton 

The Grafton church, one of the four set off by the Chester 
church, August 31, 1803, began its course with thirty -one members: 
William McCuller, Daniel Baker, Jonathan W^ooley, Amos Denni- 
son, Joseph Cumit, Samuel Smat, Enoch Heald, Abiel Wilder, 
Cornelius Baker, Joseph Rhoades, William Harris, Daniel Wilde, 
Roger Smith, Charles Ripley and Abijah Beald. 

Mrs. Chloe McCuller, Lucinda Wooley, Betsey Baker, Olive 
Richmond, Ruth Harris, Abigail Rhoades, Polly Dennison, ISIartha 
Harris, Abigail Bead, Polly Gibson, Polly Smith, Lucy Wetherby, 
Abigail Heald, Saran Dennison. 

Almost immediately after its organization the church had its 
trials which continued at intervals for some twenty -five years. It 
had to encounter the errors of some of its wealthiest and most in- 
fluential members. Disciplinary^ action was sanctified to the good 
of some of the members who were subjected to it, who repented 
and were restored, and ever after became loyal and devoted mem- 
bers, honored with official position. The first meeting-house was 
erected in 1812, though not completed for several years. Rough 
l)oards answered for seats till 1818, when pews were put in. In 
1832, the house was turned half round, a cupola put on, the square 
pews taken out and the interior otherwise modernized. A new 
meeting-house was built and dedicated December 20, 1859. 

A parsonage was obtained in 1838, which was exchanged for 
another in 1844. A Saturday evening prayer meeting was estab- 



254 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

lished in 1830, which continued till 1851. These were years of 
almost continuous revival and more than seventy were received by 
baptism. Mr. McCuller, a licentiate, supphed for a time. 

Elijah Shumway was ordained first pastor, February 3, 1810. 

Pastors: John Spaulding, 1811-1814; Joseph Elhot, 1816-1817, 
and Mr. Lathrop supplied; John R. Dodge ordained pastor, June 
27, 1821-1823; John Sanders, 1823-1825; David Sweet, 1825- 
1831 ; Edward Mitchell and S. A. Estee supplied, 1831-1833; Eras- 
tus Willard, ordained October 30, 1833; dismissed to become 
missionary to France. Samuel Eastman, 1835-1837; D. M. 
Crane, 1838-1842; Myron Merriam ordained 1842, July 1846; 
J. M. Wilmarth, September 1846-October, 1848; Baxter Bur- 
rows, 1849; J. W. Driver, 1850-1853; C. B. Smith, Principal of 
Leland & Gray, supply; Russell Wheeler, 1854-1858; Mr. Farrar 
and Baxter Burrows, supplies; J. Peacock, evangelist, two 
months, special meetings, twenty converted and baptized; S. 
Adams, January 1859-February 1, 1863; Horace Burchard, 
Principal of Leland & Gray, March 1 -August 1, 1863. A. M. 
Swaim, October, 1863-February 29, 1868; L. B. Hibbard, 1868- 
1871; L. Hayden, September, 1872-1876; Julius Leavitt, ordained 
June 27, 1876-1877. A. N. Woodruff, 1877-1880; George Ober, 
1884-1887; B. S. Morse and D. C. Towiishend, August 14, 1887- 
June, 1889; C. V. French, October 22, 1893, ordamed December 
20-December 20, 1895; J. R. Haskins, May 17, 1896-1899; D. M. 
Jones, 1901; J. A. Swart, 1901-1904; C. R. Upton, 1905-1906; C. 
W. Dealtry, 1908; A. D. Graffam, 1909-1910; J. M. Compton, 
1911. 

The results of the evangelistic efforts of the church may be 
indicated by the following tables of statistics, classed by decades: 





Bap. 


Let. 


Dis. 


Exc. 


1803—1813 


27 


1 


3 


3 


1813—1823 


34 


4 


11 


5 


1823—1833 


125 


22 


35 


6 


1833—1843 


146 


50 


60 


26 


1843—1853 


27 


27 


46 


18 


1853—1863 


173 


44 


83 


26 



HISTORY OP^ THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 255 



1863—1873 


45 


46 


64 


10 


1873—1883 


20 


26 


31 


14 


1883—1893 


26 


18 


11 




1893—1903 


18 


18 


9 




1903—1911 


40 


43 


51 


20 



The total number of baptisms, 680; accessions by letter, 281; 
total by both baptism and letter, 962; dismissions, 404; exclusions, 
128; total losses by dismissions and exclusions, 532. The revival 
periods have been the decades, 1832-1833; 1833-1843; 1853- 1863. 
In the year, 1854, there were indications of special interest, and 
Elder E. Andrews was called to assist. A series of meetings began 
about the twentieth of November and continued until about the 
first of February, and forty were baptized, six received by letter, 
and five by restoration, fifteen were dismissed and the membership 
reached its highest mark, two hundred and seventy-five. The total 
membership in 1911, seventy -eight. 

In 1843, several members became affected by the Millerite 
principles, some of whom after exclusion went to Houghtonville 
and there organized a church of that sect which had short life. 

This church has sent out from its ranks some notable workers : 
Erastus Willard, ordained October 30, 1833, later missionary to 
France; J. A. Leavitt ordained here and later President of Ewing 
College, 111. Martin Rugg, converted and baptized into the fel- 
lowship of this church, October 4, 1873, and later pastor of one of 
the largest churches in the state of Illinois, in Urbana ; honored with 
degree of D. D. by Ewing College; Elbridge W. White baptized 
and licensed at the same time with Mr. Rugg, Chaplain during 
the War of the Rebellion and since then an evangelist, who has led 
thousands to Christ, honored like his comrade with D. D. Arthur 
White, baptized here and later a successful pastor in Michigan; 
David Palmer, licensed and ordained here, pastor of several 
churches in this State. Clara A. Converse, who in her childhood 
attended the town schools and this Sunday school, converted and 
l)aptize(i and finally devoted her life to the foreign mission work 
in Yokohama, Jai)an, and Miss Xellie Streeter, who went from 
this church and has given her life to the home mission work ainong 
the colored people of Chattanooga. 



256 history of the baptists in vermont 

Andover 

The Andover church, which had for some time been a branch 
of the Chester church, began its independent hfe August 31, 1803. 
At the next session of the Woodstock Association it reported a 
membership of twenty-five. Joel Manning was its first pastor, 
continuing in that relation about thirty years. The church main- 
tained under his ministry a membership of between fifty and sixty, 
without any season of general re^'ival. The most publicly notable 
incident in Mr. Manning's ministry appears to have been the at- 
tention given by the Woodstock Association to his theological 
views, concerning the relation })etween Christ and the Father. 
In 1812, a committee consisting of Aaron Leland, Ariel Kendrick 
and Jonathan Going was appointed to inquire if any of the brethren 
had become heterodox in their sentiments, and the following year 
they reported that they had attended to their duty, and presented 
a statement from Elder Jeremiah Higbee and Elder Joel Manning. 
The statement signed by both elders is as follows : 

"our belief concerning THE SON OF GOD 

"1. We believe that the Son of God did from the beginning 
possess a personal existence, in distinction from God, which exist- 
ence he derived from God, as that of a son from his father. 

"2. We believe that, that intimate and mysterious relation 
does exist, between God and Father and His Son, which rendered 
it proper for the Son to say, T am in the Father and the Father in 
Me, ' or T and the Father are one, ' distinct personality, but united 
in essence. 

"3. We believe that the Son of God became so united to 
that human body which God prepared for Him as to become the 
soul of the same; or so as to constitute one complete agent, or con- 
scious being possessing divine and human natures in personal 
union. 

"4. That the Son of God as a divine hmnan being was made 
under the law for us, died for our sins, rose for our justification, is 
seated at his Father's right hand, has received of the Father all 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT "257 

power in heaven and on earth, is worshipped as the Son of God by 
angels and saints in heaven, and by His people on earth ; that He 
will reign until His enemies are all subdued; then the Son will re- 
sign up the kingdom to His Father and will be subject to Him who 
put all things under Him, and God will be all in all. The fore- 
going articles we believe because we find them clearly and abun- 
dantly confirmed by the inspired writings of the holy scriptures, 
which are the only rule by which w^e can judge of what is truth in 
that case. " 

The Association voted, "That we do disapprove of their 
sentiments. Although we cannot fellowship the above sentiments 
of our brethren; yet in view of our agreeable connections with them 
heretofore and in hope of their return to soundness in the faith, 
resolve to postpone the matter until our next association. " 

The next year Elder Higbee made the following retraction: 
"I have reviewed of late, with great seriousness, the ideas which 
I have exhibited concerning the Son of God, and I now feel it my 
duty and privilege to state that, so far as my communications 
have implied or seemed to imply that the Son of God is inferior to 
His Father in His divine nature, I feel to disapprove of and re- 
tract the same as erroneous and not to be justified. I beg leave 
also to state, that I view the doctrine of God manifest in the flesh 
as a great mystery; and to be a matter of faith, and not of specula- 
tion. And I shall endeavor in future to regulate my conduct ac- 
cordingly." This retraction was signed only by Elder Higbee. 
A committee was appointed to visit the Andover church and in- 
quire of them whether they believe the sentiments exhibited by 
their pastor. Elder Manning, respecting the Son of God. This 
committee was continued a second year and finally, in 1817, j\Ir. 
Manning sent the following: "Ui)on a review of the sentiments 
that I have advanced on the sonship of Christ, with my Bible in my 
hand, I feel it a duty and a privilege to say, that the sonship of 
Christ as a derived being is incorrect; and my present sentiment is 
that He is God and a created l:)eing in union. " 

This incident is illustrative not only of the keen theological 
discussions of that day, but also of the watchcare of the Associa- 
tion over its constituent churches and ministers. 

I 



258 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

The close of Mr. Manning 's pastorate was a year of blessing, 
when twenty-seven were welcomed to the church. He was suc- 
ceeded by E. Hurlbut, 1833-1837, during whose administration 
sixty -two were added to the church and the membership passed by 
the one hundred mark. R. Meyers followed with a two years ' term, 
when the membership reached its highest numerical mark, one 
hundred and four. J. Pierce, a licentiate, supplied in 1841; H. 
Crowley was pastor, 1843-1845; A. A. Constantine, 1845-1847, 
receiving eighteen to membership; E. H. Small, 1848-1849, 
twenty-seven additions; A. A. Constantine, a second pastorate, 
1850-1855; N. Cudworth, 1856; G. C. Fisher, 1858-1859; L. 
Culver, 1860-1862; B. Burrows, 1863; J. Freeman, 1865; A. J. 
Walker, 1867-1873; C. S. Sherman, 1874-1879; T. B. Eastman, 
1880-1885; L. Kinney, 1887-1889; H. C. Searles, 1891; G. E. 
Boynton, 1893-1896; J. R. Conrad, 1898-1901; H. C. Searles, 
1901-1902; C. W. Safford, 1904; J. A. Thoms, 1906; W. J. Vile, 
1907-1908; W. H. Bishop, 1909-1910; E. B. Russell, 1911. 

During the pastorate of Mr. Walker, a new parsonage was 
purchased, and a new church erected, 1868, in Peaseville, which 
had become the new center of the town. 

For many years this church has been in close relation with the 
church in Weston and the same pastor has served both churches, 
driving across the mountain and back, living sometimes in Andover 
parsonage, and sometimes in Weston. Great changes have taken 
place in this territory. A colony of Finns now occupies a large 
section of the towai once occupied by families who supported the 
Baptist church. The membership has been reduced to a total of 
twenty-two, eleven resident. 

OLD TIME MEETINGS AND SUNDAY SCHOOL IN ANDOVER 

Narrated by the Mother of Rev. J. Mervin Hull, D. D. 

There were two " meetin-housen " in the town where I was 
born and brought up. One was proper large and had galleries. 

Note — Dorcas Manning Pettingill, my mother, was born in Andover, Vt., in 
1816. Most of this account I have in her own handwriting, but some points are 
added from notes that I took, and from memory, as in my boyhood I liked noth- 
ing better than to hear my mother tell of her girlhood days in Andover. — J. M. Hull. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 259 

That was up to " Middle-Towii, " three miles off from my father's. 
The other was a Httle small one, situated on East Hill, and was 
only one-half mile from my home. It was wooden, \\'ith a huge 
stone at each outside door, to aid in getting into the porch. We 
always called them "the door rocks." The church was painted 
yellow ^^^th white trimmings. Inside there was no paint except 
on the entry doors and the pulpit, which was elevated far above 
the level of the main floor, and was only large enough for one to he 
in it at a time. The minister had a box which he knelt upon 
when he offered i)rayer, and the toes of his boots lay on the win- 
dow-sill, the pulpit was so narrow. 

The pews extended from the door to the pulpit on each side 
of the house, and they, too, were raised about six inches above the 
"level of the sea." Each had a seat on three sides and the door 
that shut us in on the fourth side, so we were boxed up for two long 
hours, unless we chose to run out a while, which was a common 
practice. During the long sermon .some of the men used to stand 
uj) and lean on the pew door to rest. One day when old Uncle Pete 
.\dams was doing this, he fell asleep, and leaned so hea\'ily that 
the pew door became unlatched, and Uncle Pete fell clattering to 
the floor, to the astonishment of the congregation and to the 
great delight of us young folks.* 

Six could be accommodated in a pew and there were accom- 
modations for hanging up l)onnets, which the older women did; 
also the men folks hung their hats on the same post, which |)ost 
accommodated two j)ews at the same time, as it extended straight 
up to the top of the house, so Uncle John and Aunt John, I'nde 
lien and Aunt Ben hung their hats and bonnets together. 

The singers' seat was in the middle of the hou.se, with a bench 
running through the center of that for the hymn books. The bass 
sat with their backs to the mini.ster, and the treble faced him. 
Uncle Mo.ses Dodge took the lead of the singing. When the hynm 
was given out, he took his pitch-jiipe, a sort of wooden whistle 
which could be extended to sound different notes, and sounded out 
the note, and the different parts took their notes from that. Uncle 
Mo.ses beat the time with his right hand, the fingers all .spread out. 

*Mr.s. Alice Mursc Earle has thi.s .story in one of licr books, hul my motlier 
told it to iiK- long iK'fore it was printed. — J. M. H. 



260 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

It was a freezing operation to walk half a mile in winter and 
then sit in a house with not the smell of fire in it, except what the 
ladies had in their foot-stoves. Some had hot bricks, but neither 
would keep warm till the first prayer was over. The men would 
rap their feet together to start circulation in their nearly frozen 
toes; but the benediction did come at last with itsnvelcome ap- 
pearance, and then the minister would say, "Intermission one 
hour, " and take his big Bible under his arm and "stiver" for home. 
The minute he was gone there was a stampede for Capt. Adams' 
warm kitchen, where we ate our doughnuts and cheese, and the 
old men had their cider. 

The minister through all my girlhood was Elder Joel Man- 
ning. He was a comely man— good looking I mean — with brown 
hair, cut "punkin shell" fashion, and blue eyes. In one sense he 
was like Zaccheus, small of stature, but he wouldn't climb as high 
as a gooseberry bush to see the Lord Jesus if he knew He was pass- 
ing by, lest he should be doing something towards his owai salva- 
tion, which was contrary to his preaching. His constant theme 
was, "Saved by grace and not by works, lest any man should 
boast," and from his interpretation of this text he was opposed to 
Sunday schools. In the pulpit he read a great deal from the Bible, 
which had as many as fifty threads hanging out as book-marks, and 
I always wondered how he knew which thread to pull for his refer- 
ence. When he talked he stood with the fore-finger of each hand 
in one of his jacket pockets, and his glasses top of his brow. "When 
he got through he left the house without speaking to any one. He 
was a good man and greatly respected. He had three professions — 
a minister, a farmer, and a cooper. He made our tubs and buckets 
and hooped the parish cider barrels, which were neither few nor far 
between in his own cellar, as well as in all the neighborhood. But 
when the temperance reform started, and he became enlightened 
on that point, he was active in organizing the first temperance so- 
ciety in Andover. 

The first Sunday school in Andover. Elder Manning, from 
his strong views of free grace as opposed to "works," was opposed 
to the idea of Sunday schools when it was first mentioned in 
Andover. Moreover he seldom spoke to a child. Yet he loved 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 261 

children, and it was at his request that I was named "Dorcas 
Manning," after a daughter of his that died. My first Sunday 
school was on this wise. There was a maiden lady whose name 
was Sally Gibson, who taught school on East Hill in a little school- 
house not far from the church. She secretly invited all the girls 
in the school that were about my age, nine years old, to learn 
verses of Scripture during the week, and she would meet us Sab- 
bath noon and hear us recite, and so we did. She was terribly 
afraid the minister would find it out; so when meeting was out we 
fled to the schoolhouse. ^Ye ran, as I plainly remember, and I 
can think just how Sally Gibson's shawl fluttered in the wind as 
we hurried on and on till we were in the schoolhouse and the door 
shut. 

I learned a good lot of verses, when some way, I never knew 
how, the minister heard of it, and sent for me to come to his house. 
I trembling obeyed. He said to me, "Darkis" — everybody pro- 
nounced my name that way — "Darkis, tell me truthfully what 
you do in the schoolhouse on Sabbath noons. " "Sir, " I said, "we 
repeat verses from the Bible that we have learned during the 
week. " "Can you repeat any of them now? " Then I began and 
repeated the verses that I had learned, and he looked at me kindly, 
and said he was glad to hear me, and gave me a fourpence-ha '- 
penny, which was worth six and a quarter cents, and after that 
there was no further opposition to our little Sunday school. 

Cavendish 

Some of the earliest settlers of this town were Baptists. In 
1769, eight years after the date of the town charter, John CoflBn 
became the first resident. In 1771, Noadiah Russell and Thomas 
Gilbert joined the settlement. One of these, Mr. Russell, was a 
Baptist. At the council, which met in 1789, to recognize the church 
in Chester, Salmon Dutton, of Cavendish, is reported as a member. 
The records of Chester church also contains the following: 

May 81, 1794. 
"Voted to receive Samuel White, Jesse S})aulding, Asaph 
Fletcher and John Spaulding, of Cavendish, members of the Baj)- 
tist church in Chelmsford, Mass., as members of this church." 



262 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

It was also voted to regard them as a branch of the church, 
with the privilege of being formed into a separate church, when 
their numbers were increased to twelve, provided they desired it. 

Although no conclusive evidence can be found that a tax was 
collected by the town for the support of religious worship, yet a 
tax on several occasions was voted, and on one occasion a Mr. 
Woods and a Mr. Pierce, the one a Congregationalist and the 
other a Baptist, were employed by vote of the people. On August 
17, 1785, the town voted to appoint a committee "to invite or 
agree with a Gospel minister. " The names of other members of 
the Cavendish church appear in the following certificate: "To 
all people to whom these presents may come: Know ye that I, 
Aaron Leland, minister of the sect or denomination of christians 
known and designated by the name or appellation of Baptist, do 
hereby certify that Jesse Spaulding, Asaph Fletcher, Robert Davis 
Gamaliel Gerold, Obadiah White, Samuel White, Noadiah Russell, 
Benjamin Lynd, John Russell, Eliphalet Chapman, Stephen 
Roberts, Frazier Eaton, Levi Manning, John Peck, Reuben Chap- 
man, Perly Fasset, Joseph Wilkins, Joseph Spaulding, and John 
Spaulding, all of Cavendish, are of the same sect or denomination 
as the subscriber, and that I, the said Aaron Leland, am minister 
of the said sect or denomination in the town of Chester, in the 
county of Windsor, and State of Vermont, and that the above 
mentioned persons, except three or four belong to the church under 
the pastoral care of the subscriber. Cavendish, Decenil)er ^O. 
1799, Attest, Aaron Leland, Minister." 

Rev. John Peck, in his memoirs, speaking of this early religious 
condition of society says: "An attempt was made about this time 
to obtain a law of the State, for a general assessment for the sup- 
port of preachers, similar to what had been attempted in the 
state of Virginia, which was boldly advocated in a large number of 
publications in the newspapers, by a reverend clergyman. But 
these pieces were answered in a very able, candid and forcible 
manner by a reputable Baptist, Dr. Fletcher, of Cavendish. His 
powerful appeals to the ])ublic in defense of rehgious liberty put 
to silence the clergyman; and the object of a general assessment, 
for the present was given up." 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 263 

By advice of an ecclesiastical council convened August 31, 
1803, by invitation of the church in Chester, those members who 
could best be accommodated in Cavendish were dismissed from 
the mother church. Forty-six was the number reported to the 
Association, although a smaller number was dismissed from the 
Chester church. 

The following July, one Brooks was invited to improve his 
gifts among them. Elder Gershom Lane and Brother John Rus- 
sell were requested to supply the church with preaching, each one- 
half of the time. These brethren l)oth resided in town and had 
some gifts at exhortation. For about eight jears there was no 
settled pastor. In 1811, Jonathan Going, a licentiate, from the 
first church, Providence, R. I., visited them, and afterward became 
pastor. He held meetings far and near in houses, schoolhouses 
and barns, and wherever people could be gathered. At a point 
where the towns of Andover, Cavendish, Chester, and Ludlow 
corner stood a barn which for those days was spacious and very 
convenient for meetings. Here gatherings often occurred and 
the Lord poured out his Spirit. It is said that when young con- 
Acrts related their experience with a view of being baptized, in- 
stead of waiting for a motion and putting the question to vote, 
the Elder would send someone to each member of the church to 
incjuire if he or she was satisfied with the candidate's relation of 
christian exi)erience. Eighty-three were received to the church 
during the five years of this pastorate. Mr. Going was succeeded 
by Elisha Starkweather, Ruel Lathrop, and Ariel Kendrick. 
Tp to 18'2o, the church had been known as the Bapti.st church 
of Cavendish and Ludlow. On the 28th of January, 182.5, 
forty-six members, resident in Ludlow, were set off as a distinct 
clmrcli. January 26, 1826, Joseph Freeman became pastor, 
continuing to serve the church for ten years, deducting one year 
spent at Newton Theological Institution, and one year at Con- 
cord, N. H. He was al.so pastor in 1842, and again in 1850-1851. 
In 1834, the church edifice was built. During these periods of 
service, one hundred and fifty-four were added to the church. In 
the j)eriod from 1837 to 1864, the pastors were E. T. Winter, Moses 
Fi(>ld, W. Spcrry. I). Richardson, A. Angier, R. M. Ely. S. W. 



264 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

Miles, Mylon Merriam and Sem. Pierce. During these pastorates 
one hundred and seven were received to membership. In 1864, 
S. F. Brown began a pastorate w^hich continued till November, 
1875, during which time seventy-two were added to the church. 
In 1870, by the will of the late Hon. Richard Fletcher, of Boston, 
the church came into possession of a valuable parsonage, a pastor's 
library of two hundred volumes, and a fund of $4,000, the income 
of $1,000 to be annually expended in the increase of the library 
and the income of $3,000 to be annually expended in repairs on 
the parsonage or for the support of the pastor. 

The following persons have been licensed to preach: Elislia 
Andrews, Addison Parker, Joseph Parker, Benjamin Pierce, Arte- 
mas Arnold, Stephen Pierce, Horace Fletcher, Hervey Parker, 
Lucius Baker and J. C. Allen. 

Since 1875 there have been eight pastorates: L. B. Hibbard, 
1877-1879: Foster Henry, 1880-1884; George B. Wheeler, 1887- 
1892; A. H. Murray, 1894-1896; D. W. Lyman, 1897-1900; F. L, 
Foster, 1901-1902; George Pomfrey, 1904-1907; W. E. Baker, 
1908-1912. 

Membership in 1911, seventy-eight. 

Mount Holly 

The nucleus of the Moimt Holly church consisted of twenty- 
three members of the church in Wallingford, who were set off as 
a distinct church, September 6, 1804. Six other persons, who 
had been recently baptized at Mount Holly, immediately joined 
these as constituent members of the new church. For about 
eight years the church had no settled pastor. It held its monthly 
meetings with regularity and spent considerable labor upon delin- 
quent members. Edmund Bryant was deacon, and Lyman Dick- 
erson and Goodyear Clark were a sort of advisory committee, 
appointed "to advise with the deacons respecting any matter to 
be attended to." An addition was built upon Brother Jacob 
White's house by the church for the accommodation of its meet- 
ings. A new era began when Daniel Packer came to work with 
this church. He was first appointed moderator. May 11, 1811, 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 265 

and was not ordained till something more than a year later, but 
meanwhile, under his evangelistic ministrjs upward of fifty per- 
sons were added to the church by baptism and others by letter. 
He was ordained June 6, 1812. From that time for many years a 
success almost unparalleled attended his ministry, few monthly 
meetings passing without the accession of some new members. 
The church increased, till from the original number of thirty it 
became one of the largest if not the largest church of any denomina- 
tion in the State. In 1842, it reported four hundred and sixty-six 
members, and this, too, after forty-two members had been dis- 
missed to form the church in East Wallingford, in 1830, and about 
an equal number to form churches in Plymouth and Shrewsbury 
in 1833. 

Elder Packard was succeeded by Joshua Clement, 1846-1848; 
R. M. Ely, 1848-1852; S. Gustin, 1853-1855. This was a period 
of great trial to the church, disciplinary action being almost inces- 
sant, and accessions being few. 

The tide turned with the beginning of the pastorate of Charles 
Coon, November, 1855. Within three years thirty -eight were 
baptized and several received by letter. Rev. T. H. Archibald 
followed with a pastorate of seven years of instructive and edifying 
service. S. Pillsbury served from March, 1866, till August 7, 
1869; Silas Dean, 1870-1872. In January, 1873, Joshua Clement 
commenced a second season of labor, continuing eighteen months. 
He was assisted in a three days' meeting by Rev. A. B. Earle, and 
their combined efforts resulted in the accession of twenty-one 
members by ba])tism. 

The list of later pastors is as follows: S. S. ^Yhite, 1875; W. H. 
Lawton, 1876-1878; O. J. Taylor, 1878-1880; L. W. King, 1883- 
1888; Benjamin Harris, 1890-1892; G. W. Clough, 1893-1898; 
F. J. Fnuiklyn, 1899-1901; C. D. Hazelton, 1902-1903; Thomas 
Davison, 1905-1906; H. S. McHale, 1907-1908; F. C. Twiss, 1911. 

In 1884, the church erected a meeting-house at Mechanics ville, 
which was dedicated the next year, costing about $6,000. Since 
that the church has maintained Sunday school and preaching 
services in both places, the pastor preaching in one meeting-house 
in the forenoon and driA-ing to the other for the afternoon ser- 



266 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

vice. The congregation is thus divided, but better accommo- 
dated than before the second edifice was built. The field occupies 
a farming district of wide area. Membership, one hundred. 

Saxtons River 

The first record we have of any effort to establish religious 
worship in Saxtons River bears date of November 26, 1807. 
At that time a number of citizens met by verbal request at Isaac 
Willard's tavern to consider the subject of building a meeting- 
house. Soon after this the meeting-house was built on the ground 
offered by Mr. Simeon Aldrich, twenty-seven persons having 
agreed to buy pews. The house was dedicated on the 23rd of 
August, 1810, Aaron Leland, of Chester, preaching the sermon. 
Captain Jonathan Barron was marshal of the day. On the 
eighteenth of June, 1812, a church was organized, consisting of 
sixteen members, ten men and six women, and to the church was 
given the name of "The Baptist Church of Christ in Westminster 
and Rockingham." The church lived the first thirty -two years 
of its life under a name that did not give any indication that it was 
in the village of Saxtons River, namely, "The Baptist Church of 
Christ in Westminster and Rockingham," Rockingham being the 
name of the town of which Saxtons River is a village. And further, 
the council to form the church did not meet at Saxtons River, but 
in another village in another town, the town of Westminster. The 
moderator was Rev. Aaron Leland, of Chester, and the clerk. 
Rev. Joseph Elliott, then of Chesterfield and Hinsdale. 

Eight of the original members were received by letter from 
the church in Westminster, two from Chester, and six by experience. 
The records of the Council that recognized the Baptist church in 
Westminster and Rockingham, makes it certain that there was once 
a Baptist church in Westminster. The first deacons were Ben- 
jamin Smith, Samuel Mason and Daniel Mason, all men of God, 
held in good repute. First clerk, John Tuthill. Seventeen mem- 
bers were received into the church before it had a pastor. On the 
nineteenth of January, 1814, Rev. Joseph Elliott was installed 
pastor of the church and continued in that relation till February, 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 267 

1822. During that time there were added by baptism one hundred 
and nineteen; by letter, twenty -four. The church mourned the 
loss of this excellent and dearly beloved pastor, and the harmony, 
which had long existed, was somewhat marred by his leaving. 
For five years the church was pastorless, though supplied by differ- 
ent ministers, among them Rev. Willard Kimball, and Joseph 
Freeman, then a young man, and afterward an efficient pastor of 
the church. Rev. Sereno Taylor also preached a year during 
this period. After he was hired he began industriously to circulate 
open communion view\s, created a division, and withdrew with 
some of the members and formed an open communion church. 
For a year or tw^o he remained pastor of this new church and then 
left town. After his departure the open communion church 
changed its articles of faith, and became the Congregational church. 

On the nineteenth of January, 1827, the church recalled Mr. 
Elliott and he served another pastorate of five years. From the 
tenth of June, 1822, till the close of the same month, in 1833, 
eight young men were licensed to preach the gospel, viz., Bela 
Wilcox, Joseph Gambol, Benjamin Dean, Jr., Abner Goodell, 
Erastus AVillard, Charles Peabody, Orlando Cunningham and 
Charles Rolles. Rev. Richard Ely was the second pastor, August 
14, 1830, till December, 1835. Additions: seventy-six by baptism, 
nine by letter. The church at this time worshipped part of the 
time in the meeting-house, and a part of the time in the old brick 
school house. Rev. Joseph Freeman's pastorate commenced in 
1836, and continued till December 8, 1839. Sixty-six were bap- 
tized, and twenty-four received by letter in this pastorate. Rev. 
William M. Guilford then served two years. A new meeting- 
house was built in 1840, and a parsonage in 1844. The name of 
the church was changed on the eleventh of September, 1844, to 
that of the "First Baptist Church in Saxtons River Village." 
Rev. Lucien Hayden became pastor in March, 1843, and continued 
in office till the third of July, 1857, a long and fruitful pastorate, 
during which seventy-three were received to membership, thirty- 
nine of them by baptism. 

Rev. W. N. Wilbour was ordained pastor January 25, 1858, 
and served sixteen years, welcoming to the church one hundred by 



268 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

baptism and thirty-four by letter. During this time the church 
edifice was repaired at a cost of $6,000, and the parsonage at a 
cost of $600. 

Rev. Stephen H. Stackpole served as pastor, 1876-1881; W. 
H. Randall, 1883-1888; J. H. Robbins, 1889-1890; W. R. Baldwin, 
1891-1896; F. T. Boughton, 1897-1899; A. E. Foote, 1901-1904; 
C. H. Bro^vn, 1906-1907; Mr. Brown's work ended suddenly with 
his death, July 23, 1908. He was an able leader and faithful 
minister and his death was a keen affliction to the church. Ed- 
ward S. Mason has been pastor since 1909. This church has been 
ably served, and has held a position of peculiar importance since 
the founding of Vermont Academy in the village. And it may 
well be recorded that since the Academy was started more than 
one hundred and sixty teachers and students have been members 
of the church, not a few of them having joined by baptism. While 
there have been additions in all the later pastorates, there have 
been heavy losses, so that the church is weaker now% numerically, 
than it was in earlier years. 

In 1895, it enrolled one hundred and sixty-four members. 
Present membership, ninety-four. 

Londonderry 

The Baptist church in Londonderry had its origin in the 
town of Peru, where on the twenty -seventh of October, 1809, by 
advice of a council, the following persons were constituted a Baptist 
church: Asahel Graves, Lucy Graves, William Cooledge, Anna 
Cooledge, Rufus Butler, Isabel Butler, Cyrus Staples, Orpah 
Staples. Within fourteen months from the organization of the 
church, thirty-one were received by baptism. Lord's Day, 
November 11, 1810, Elder Gershom Lane was received by letter 
from the Bai)tist church in Newport (probably New Hampshire). 
February 20, 1811, this church in Peru, with thirteen members of 
the church in Windham, by advice of a council, became the First 
Baptist church in Londonderry. Elder Lane was engaged to 
j)reach three-fourths of the time for fifty-two dollars a year, the 
sum to be paid in produce or wearing apparel. Levi Baldwin was 
chosen clerk, and Jesse Baldwin and Abiel Richardson, deacons. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT '2Q9 

November 28, 1815, the Baptid church in Weston was con- 
stituted, to which Elder Lane and five other members were dis- 
missed. September '23, 1817, Setli Ewer was received by letter 
from the church in Windsor, and shortly afterAvard was licensed to 
preach. ]Marcli 28, 1818, he was called to ordination as pastor 
uj)on a salary of one hundred dollars. In 1819, David Sweet be- 
came pastor, and after serving a little more than three years, the 
church voted to draw up a subscription paper to secure his ser- 
\'ices for eight years from date. They were not successful, however, 
in retaining him so long, as he was dismissed by letter two years 
later. 

About 1825, there arose a sentiment as to where the meetings 
should be held, and January 27, a council was called to advise 
regarding the matter, but the members of the church were not all 
AA-illing to abide by the advice of the council, and a proposition was 
made for the division of the church, but did not become effective. 

The following reminiscence of this period was furnished by an 
aged lady. In the fall of 1827, the church, not having had a com- 
munion season for some time, on account of differences of opinion 
as to the best place for holding meetings, one of the deacons visited 
another, the father of the sister above mentioned, to see if some 
I)lan could not be devised which would harmonize the feelings of 
the brethren so that they could unite in the observance of the 
Lord's sui)per. It was proposed to call a meeting at the Thompson- 
burg schoolhouse, on the following Sabbath. The deacons were 
busy with the harvest wofk, and could not well spend the time to 
extend the notice. This, however, the daughter, not a professing 
christian, volunteered to do. The brethren came together as in- 
vited, the meeting was opened as usual, a brother rose and made 
confession, then another and another, until the place became a 
Bochim, and all hearts seemed to be l)rouglit into unison. The 
deacon's daughter publicly expressed her interest in religion, and 
her soul was at once set free in the (lOspel. A precious revival 
followed, and within twelve months from the first baj)tism thirty- 
three were bai)tized into the church. The families of the deacons 
shared richly in the blessing, two, who were baptized, Bradley S. 
'i'hompson, and David A. Richardson, became preachers of the 



270 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

Gospel, and also in the same period, a pastor. Rev. Sein Pierce, 
was ordained. In 1836, another revival was enjoyed when thirty- 
three were received by baptism within a year. 

In 1848, d fficulties, which had long existed, rent the church 
into two parties, and a formal separation took place between the 
northern and the southern l)rethren. The southern brethren 
occupied the brick meeting-house, under Sem Pierce, as pastor; 
the northern brethren met for a time in the schoolhouses at the 
south village and the Center, and the Congregational meeting- 
house at the Center. In 1847, they built a small meeting-house 
at the lower end of the south village, which was dedicated in 
October. While worshipping in this house they were served by 
Rev. Luke Sherwin two years. After a separation of nine years, a 
reunion was effected, and a revival soon followed, which resulted in 
the baptism of twenty-two within two months. In the midst of 
harvesting this revival work occurred, without any extra meetings 
except an inquiry meeting at the pastor's house. 

In the dark days of the Civil war this church sent forth her 
loyal sons to fight for the Union. To quote from a letter to the 
Association of 1864, "nine church members have been, or now are, 
on the field of strife, with the exception of one who fell in the de- 
fense of his country, and eleven who attend church with us, two of 
whom have fallen a sacrifice to their country. Our united prayer 
is that this unprovoked and unholy Rebellion may be suppressed, 
and liberty and justice in righteousness be established all over our 
land." 

The next thirty years were marked by gro\\-th and stability. 
This was the prosperous period of the church's life, and during 
this time the largest membership was reached, one hundred and 
eighty -two in 1871. 

Rev. O. P. Fuller died in 1893, the only pastor who has died in 
ofBce. September 5, 1891, three members were excluded, nine- 
teen dropped and three dismissed, since which time the member- 
ship has slowly decreased, until on the day of its centennial the 
church numbered fifty-two, two less than when the church was 
constituted. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 271 

The total number baptized during the century is four hundred 
and twenty-four. The present meeting-house was built in 1844, 
repaired in 1855, again in 1880, and again in 1907, and now the 
church has a beautiful and comfortable meeting-house and a good 
parsonage, free from debt. 

The church has had nineteen pastors in the following order: 
Gershom Lane, Seth Ewer, David Sweet, Sem Pierce, Rufus 
Smith, Jr., Luke Sherwin, Russel Wheeler, I. C. Carpenter, J. P. 
Huntington, Charles Coon, John S. Goodall, Richard Nott, John 
S. Goodall, L. W. Wheeler, H. C. Leavitt, O. P. Fuller, N. W. 
Wood, W. T. Rice, F. E. Coburn and R. H. Tibbals. The church 
has had twenty deacons and thirteen clerks; the present clerk, 
Elijah F. Rugg, having served forty-two years. It has licensed 
eight persons to preach, among whom is John S. Lyon, D. D., of 
Holyoke, Mass, 

Ludlow 

The Baptist church in Ludlow, dates no farther back than 1835, 
but to give a consecutive history of Baptist interests, in this towai, 
one must go back to an earlier date. The first settlement of Lud- 
low was commenced in 1784-1785, by a few individuals, one of 
whom was Simeon Read, whose wife was the first person to be 
baptized in Ludlow. This was about 1800. Orlando Whitney 
and wife were, however, the first Bajitists in Ludlow. Andrew 
Pettigrew was the first man to be baptized in tovm. That was in 
the year, 1803, by Rev. Henry Green, of Wallingford. As early as 
1806, there were thirteen Baptists in town, three of whom were 
added that year by baptism. Meetings were held in private 
houses. Elder Aaron Leland or Elder Manning, of Andover, 
administered the ordinances. When no minister was present, 
Andrew Pettigrew, who was a very prominent member of the 
early Ba])tists and distinguished for his piety, usually appointed 
and conducted the meetings. He first united with the church in 
Chester, and subsequently removed his connection to (\\vendish. 

In 1819, a large brick building was erected, called the Union 
Meeting-house, which tlie Baptists occu])ied nearly half the time. 



272 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

On the eighteenth of April, 1825, a council, of which Aaron Leland 
was moderator, and Ariel Kendrick, of Cornish, scribe, met in 
Ludlow. At that time some of the Baptists in Ludlow were mem- 
bers of the Chester church, and some of the Andover church, but 
the great majority belonged to the Cavendish church, and were 
regarded as a branch of that church. With the consent of the 
parent church, the council recognized a new Baptist church in Lud- 
low, of forty members. Moses Mayo and Andrew Pettigrew were 
chosen deacons. 

The first Baptist minister, who preached statedly in Ludlow, 
was Benjamin Pierce, a licentiate member of the Cavendish church. 
His successors were Jonathan Going, Thomas Starkweather, Reuel 
Lathrop and Ariel Kendrick. Rev. Joseph Freeman was the first 
minister to serve the church after its organization. He resided in 
Proctors ville, and preached alternately to the churches in Caven- 
dish and Ludlow, each church paying one hundred and sixty-five 
dollars annually, and sharing equally in the cost of keeping his 
horse. He remained till the autumn of 1827, when he entered 
upon a course of study at Newton Theological Institution. Dur- 
ing the year, 1826, he baptized sixty persons. Li 1828, he returned 
to the work again in this field. Rev. Elias Hurlbut succeeded Mr. 
Freeman and remained two years, the first minister to reside in 
towTi, and first to preach all the time. In 1834, Rev. J. M. Graves 
became pastor, and preached till the formation of the Second 
church in 1835, baptizing twenty-one and adding thirteen by letter. 
Later, Rev. A. Allen, of Stockbridge, Vt., preached part of the 
time to the First church, and their records continue for a little 
more than two years, until September, 1837, when it lost its visible 
connection with the Woodstock Association, and became extinct. 
During the twelve years of its existence it received about two 
hundred and twenty-five to membership, one hmidred and forty- 
three by baptism. Three of their number, Frederick Page, Horace 
Wilcox, and Atwell Graves, were approved of the church as having 
jjersonal qualifications for the ministry. 

June 30, 1835, by the aid of a council, a Second Baptist church 
was organized in Ludlow. Rev. J. M. Graves transferred his 
relation from the First church to the Second, and became its pastor. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 273 

Jesse Bailey, having made like transfer, became clerk. Janna 
Wilcox, Moses Dodge, and Asa Fletcher were elected deacons. On 
the twenty -first of September, 1838, after the First church ceased to 
be recognized by the Association, the second Church took the name 
of the Baptist church in Ludlow, simply. 

According to the written and verbal testimony of this church, 
the principal cause of the division was the subject of temperance. 
For some time the members of the First church had been about 
equally divided on this question. Some favored the organization 
of temperance societies, and some did not. Some justified the use 
of alcoholic liquors, and others did not, and the discussions were 
not always consonant with the spirit of Christianity. The difficul- 
ties assumed large proportions; the power of discipline was, in a 
large measure, lost, and the work of the church was finally paralyzed. 
Accordingly, it was thought best by the temperance party, either 
to dissolve the church, or ask for letters of dismission. In a meeting 
the twenty-seventh of June, 1835, the vote to dissolve was lost, 
and Parker Pettigrew, son of Deacon Andrew Pettigrew, moved 
for letters of dismission without recommendation. This was 
carried, and the clerk was instructed to give the same to all who 
would apply within a week. The same day, June 27, a meeting 
was held by those who withdrew, and was organized by the choice 
of Rev. J. M. Graves, moderator, and Dr. A. G. Taylor, clerk. 
After due consideration they voted to organize another church, and 
were also in favor of calling a council of delegates for the purpose 
of deciding upon the propriety of the same. The council assembled 
with the result as already stated. Seventy-eight members seceded 
and formed a new church, and in the covenant for their adoption 
they inserted an additional clause, viz., "We engage to use no 
ardent spirits except for medicinal purposes." Rev. J. M. Graves 
served as i)astor about one year, when he was dismissed at his own 
recjuest. He was succeeded by Rev. D. H. Ranney, who served 
one year. Rev. William Upham, i)receptor of the Academy, was 
his successor till May, 1838, when Rev. J. M. Graves became its 
pastor the second time, renuihiing till October, 1840. Up to this 
date, sixty -five had been baptized into the fellowship of the new 
church, and thirty-eight received by letter, most of whom united 



274 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

during the pastorate of Mr. Graves. In 1840, a meeting-house 
was built. 

In March, 1841, Rev. Baxter Burrows began a pastorate of 
seven years, in which he baptized fifty -eight and received thirty-five 
by letter. In April, 1849, Rev. N. Cudworth became pastor, and 
served till ill health compelled his resignation, August, 1852. He 
was a man of excellent spirit, a faithful pastor in whom the flock 
could place confidence. In May, 1853, Rev. Ira Pierson com- 
menced his ministry among this people, serving nineteen years. 
He baptized eighty-nine, and welcomed to the church seventy-six 
by letter, a total of one hundred and sixty -five. The benevolent 
contributions during this time was $3718.21, of which the pastor 
paid nearly one-tenth. The church edifice was repaired and reno- 
vated in 1869, at a cost of $1828. Brother Pierson walked among 
his people as a man of God, an able preacher, a wise counsellor, 
a fatherly pastor, a beloved citizen. He, therefore, greatly 
endeared himself to the church and the people of Ludlow. In 
his eighty -first year he resigned his charge and removed to New- 
port, N. H. Long will the "Old Pastor" be remembered by 
a grateful and loving people. 

During the period thus far covered, three members of the 
church had been approved as having qualifications suitable for the 
ministry, Samuel Johnson, Albert B. Putnam and Moses Burbank. 
In June, 1872, Rev. J. P. Farrar commenced a five years' pastorate. 
Mr. Farrar prepared the historical sketch, printed in the minutes 
of 1878, from which the foregoing items have been taken. A 
remarkable awakening occurred in 1875. Gospel meetings were 
held in February, and many were converted. Union meetings 
were held every evening for several weeks. Rev. E. A. Whittier 
and wife assisted ten days in April. One hundred gave evidence 
of conversion. July 2, 3, and 4, a Gospel celebration was held in a 
tent, assisted by brethren from Massachusetts. People came to it 
from far and near, and thus spread the revival influences. Rev. 
Ira Pierson ^'isited his old field, and assisted the pastor in giving 
the hand of felloAvship to thirty-one new members, twenty-seven 
of whom had been baptized the same day. During the associa- 
tional year, forty-six were baptized, seven received by letter and 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 275 

eight by experience, sixty-one total. The membership reached 
the number two hundred and twenty-three. Deacon Ora J. 
Taylor received license to preach the follo\\'ing year, and was or- 
dained in 1878. 

Rev. J. A. Johnson was next pastor, 1878-1880, and was 
followed by Rev. J. B. Child, 1882-1883, and Rev. R. L. Olds, 
1884-1889. The second year of this pastorate was marked by an- 
other ingathering. Union services were held, conducted by resident 
pastors, and during that associational year, twenty-six were bap- 
tized, seven received by letter, and three by experience. Rev. D. 
D. Owen began a pastorate of about eight years, in 1891. That 
year the Society and the "Meeting House Society" were abolished, 
and the church incorporated. The next year a new church edifice 
was in process of erection, and a lot purchased for a parsonage. 
Pastor Owen's work was of high character, and the missionary 
interest in the church received a special impetus. He was suc- 
ceeded by Rev. H. E. Thayer, who served from 1899 to 1904, with a 
cultured, edifying, fruitful ministry. Rev. E. L. Bayliss followed, 
1905-1910, under whose ministry the church continued to prosper, 
attaining a membership of two hundred and twenty -eight. In 
1911, Rev. J. H. Thompson took up the work as pastor. 

Felchville 

Organized June 24, 1835. Brethren, Silas Brown, Samuel R. 
Kendall, Thomas Kendall, OHver F. Shattuck, Samuel Williams, 
John Kile. Sisters, Roxanna Bowen, Mehitabel Bowen, Betsey 
Kendall, Susan Shattuck, Louise Adams, Lucinda Poturine, Grace 
Stearns, Mary Ward, Lucy Williams, Elizabeth Streeter, Lucinda 
Salisbury, Calista Tarbell, Susannah Densmore, Mariah Streeter, 
Flavilla Steams. Rev. David Burrows sui)plied the church one- 
half the time during the year, 1836. Charles Farrar was ordained 
pastor January 15, 1839, and served till 1842. For a nunil)er of 
years the changes in the pastorates were frequent and the terms 
short. W. M. Guilford, 1843; A. H. Houes, 1844-1845; E. Page, 
1848; L Sherwin, 1850; R. P. Amsden, 1852-1853; C. L. Frost, 
1855; J. Freeman, 1857; B. Burrows. 1858-1859; J. Freeman, 1860; 



276 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

R. G. Johnson, 1862-1865. C. H. Richardson, 1865-1870, Joseph 
Small, 1871-1872; George H. Parker, October 6, 1872-July 15, 
1877; Joseph Small again, 1877 till 1880. Death terminated this 
pastorate under impressive circumstances. He was taken sudden- 
ly ill while preaching the annual sermon at Londonderry, l)efore 
the Association, and lived only an hour. Rev. Al})ert Heald was 
pastor from September 3, 1881, to June 3, 1894. Rev. E. A. 
Whittier and wife assisted him in a series of meetings in 1882, 
sixteen days, and twenty were converted. Rev. Henry Clay 
Searles assisted in 1890, and eleven were converted and baptized 
August 17, 1890. Mrs. Nancy Amsden, who was ov^er one hundred 
years of age, attended a meeting of the church and made some 
pertinent remarks. She died Januaiy 17, 1891, aged one hundred 
and one years, five months and twenty-seven days. Mr. Searles 
led in another series of meetings in October, 1890, and eight were 
received by baptism. In 1892, a license was granted to Daniel 
W. Lyman. F. L. Hopkins was pastor from 1894 to 1898; Thomas 
Tellier, 1899-1902; P. M. Bauknight, 1902; George Pomfrey, 1904- 
1907; W. E. Baker, 1908-1912. 

April 30, 1842, Mary R. Ro})inson devised the income of all 
her property for the support of Baptist preaching in Reading, under 
the direction of the State Convention. Louise Stearns died Janu- 
ary 10, 1893, and her will provided two hundred and fifty dollars, 
the income of which was to be used for repairs on the parsonage, and 
the residue of her estate, under trustees duly appointed, for the sup- 
port of Baptist preaching, so long as a Baptist church existed in 
Felchville, the State Convention to receive the bequest in case 
the church became extinct. Removals and deaths have depleted 
the church till from fifty -nine members in 1899, it has been reduced 
to nine members in 1912. 

Perkinsville 

The Perkins-v'ille church is an ojffshoot of the church in North 
Springfield, and was organized and recognized by a council, called 
by the mother church, May 27, 1835. Bana Bigelow was appointed 
deacon, J. M. Aldrich, clerk. David Burrows was first pastor. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 277 

dividing his time between this church and the one at Felchville. 
The State Convention has fostered both churches. Twenty-one 
united with the church by baptism, and eleven by letter, before the 
close of Mr. Burrows' pastorate in 1837. Rev. William Guilford 
removed from Waitsfield to Perkinsville in the fall of 1837, and was 
pastor till November, 1839. During this time twenty-seven were 
baptized and nine received by letter. June 24, 1841, Theodore 
H. Lunt was ordained pastor, and served one year. Seventeen 
were received by letter, none bj' baptism. Rev. Mr. Guilford was 
invited to return, and he remained four years. A part of this time, 
Mr. Guilford was principal of the Perkinsville Academy. Rev. F. 
Page and Rev. Luke Sherwin each served two years as pastor. 
Then C. H. Frost was ordained November 18, 1852, and served 
till January 27, 1856. Joseph Freeman then supplied for one year, 
and baptized twenty -two converts, and received five by letter. 
Charles Frost returned for a second pastorate, February, 1857, to 
February, 1860, and was followed by Rev. N. Cudworth, who re- 
mained eleven years, February, 1860, to August, 1871. Twenty- 
two were added by baptism and twenty-seven by letter. William 
Rugg began a pastorate in 1873, which continued until 1881. 

This church has had the happy faculty of obtaining and 
keeping good pastors. Within the last forty years it has had but 
five pastors, viz: WilHam Rugg, 1873-1881; W.H. Stewart, 1884- 
1885; H. M. Hopkinson, 1887-1898; O. (\ Winestock, 1899-1905; 
A. J. Hopkins, 1906. The territory from which the church draws 
its resident members is not thickly populated, and there is a Metho- 
dist church in the same field. It has l)een exceptionally free from 
occasions for discipline, and has maintained a good degree of har- 
mony. It has been able not onlj' to maintain its numerical strength, 
})ut with all the losses has ))een able to make advance, attaining 
its maximum number of one himdred and seven during the efficient 
pastorate of Rev. O. C. Winestock in 1903. Its membership in 
1911 was ninety -eight. 

Bellows Falls 

In 1854, a large council from neighboring churches was called 
in Bellows Falls, to advise with reference to organizing a Baptist 



278 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

church in that growing village. That council finding but twelve 
persons, who were prepared with letters, to unite with the church, 
adjourned to a future day without taking any further action than 
to recommend the organization of a church, provided about thirty 
persons could be found ready to unite with it. The council met 
according to adjournment, and a church of thirty-four members 
was recognized April 4. Rev. Ahira Jones, agent of the State 
Convention, supplied them with preaching from that time till June. 
Rev. N. B. Jones became first pastor, February, 1855, and resigned 
after about a year's service. Having no meeting-house, services 
were held for a time in the hall connected with the Island House. 
S. F. Brown, then a student at New^ Hampton Institution, began 
supplying the church in May, and was ordained pastor the follow- 
ing September. Mr. Brown patiently labored under the difficul- 
ties attending a new enterprise, until March, 1863. Under his 
leadership a meeting-house was erected and completed in 1802, 
and the prospects of the church greatly improved. For the next 
two years the church was unable to secure a pastor, and was de- 
pendent upon supplies. Rev. N. Pierce was employed in 1866, 
but shortly after resigned. C. F. Nichols served a few months in 
1869. 

In 1870, J. R. Haskins became pastor, holding the position till 
1877. This was a period of encouraging development. The 
congregations increased in numbers, accessions out-numbering 
losses brought the membership from fifty-nine to seventy-eight. 

In 187*2, after fifteen years of dependence upon the State 
Convention, which had been liberal in its appropriations, it became 
self-sustaining. Friends in Brattleboro met a great need by build- 
ing for the church a parsonage. The ladies bought a bell and 
painted the meeting-house. In temporal and spiritual lines there 
was progress. Rev. E. A. Herring held the pastorate in 1878 and 
1879, and was succeeded by Rev. S. H. Emery, who, during a five 
years' term, baptized forty and w^elcomed twenty-seven by letter. 
The membership increased to one hundred and nineteen in 1882, 
Edward Green was chosen pastor, after the resignation of Mr. 
Emery in 1884, but changing his theological views, resigned after a 
very short stay, and N. W. Alger became pastor, beginning his work 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 279 

in 1885, and closing it in 1889. Illustrative of the fluctuations in 
a manufacturing town, in 1887, there were twenty-seven additions 
by letter, and in 1890, twenty were dismissed by letter. In 1890, 
Rev. C. R. B. Dodge began a pastorate which continued nearly 
twelve years, during which time the church made steady and 
substantial growth, and fulfilled its beneficent mission in the com- 
munity. Mr. Dodge, with remarkable administrative and pas- 
toral ability, shepherded his flock and gave the church a position of 
influence in the town and State. In Sunday school work and 
missionary effort, the church was specially interested. The meet- 
ing-house was remodelled and enlarged, and greatly improved. 
Forty-one were baptized and eighty-two received by letter, bring- 
ing the membership to one hundred and sixty -two. 

Rev. C. W. Jackson was next pastor, 1902-1906, under 
whose ministry the church continued to grow and exert its in- 
fluence. In 1905, a house to house ministry, with the assistance of 
Miss Grace Brooks, was blessed, and twenty were baptized that 
year. Rev. J. W. Moore, whose work began in 1907, has been 
permitted to welcome upward of thirty by baptism and about 
the same number by letter. The dismissions by letter have been 
a good many. In 1909, membership had reached within six of the 
two hundred mark. Present number, one hundred and eighty-six 
(1912). 

East Wallingford 

The beginnings of the East Wallingford church appears in 
recent minutes to date from 1861, l)ut it really dates as far back 
as 1830, when the Mount Holly church dismissed forty -three of its 
members to constitute a church under the name of the Second 
Wallingford c/nirch. This new church united with the Wood- 
stoc;k Association the following year, w^ith Artemas Arnold, as 
pastor, Oliver Allen and Isham White, deacons, and a membership 
of fifty -five. It appears to have had early trials, but by its aggres- 
sive evangelistic efforts it won fifteen to Christ in 1832, and twenty- 
one in 1833, who united with the church by baptism. H. F. Dean 
became pastor in 1833, serving three years. S. B. Thompson was 



280 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

ordained pastor in 1837, serving two years. During the decade 
from 1840 to 1850, the pulpit seems to have been somewhat irregu- 
larly supplied by J. Sanders, and failed to report regularly to the 
Association. 

In 1852, it secured the pastoral service of Elder Daniel Packer, 
pastor of the mother church, and an ingathering of upward of 
thirty soon followed as the result of special effort, aided by William 
Grant, in a five weeks' series of meetings. 

Elder Packer continued to shepherd the flock until 1857, 
when A. A. Constantine was chosen pastor. It became evident at 
that time that the permanence and influence of the church de- 
pended upon having a meeting-house in a more central location, 
and the enterprise was undertaken, resulting in the completion of 
the present East Wallingford meeting-house near the railroad 
station in East Wallingford. 

When the change of location was made, the Second Baptist 
Church of Wallingford was considered dissolved, and a new church, 
but practically the old church in a new meeting-house, was or- 
ganized under the name of the East Wallingford Baptist Church. 
It was then, and still continues to be, the only church in that village. 
Concerning its history little can be given more than the succession 
of pastors, which is as follows: 

J. P. Farrar, 1861-1862; C. P. Frenyear, 1863; C. Coon, 1865- 
1866; E. P. Merrifield, 1866-1867; J. Fletcher, 1869; J. P. Farrar, 
1870-1871; E. A. Wood, 1872; S. Wright, 1873; H. C. Robbins, 
1875; A. S. Chick, 1876-1878; I. P. Kellogg, 1881; T. H. Archibald, 
1882-1883; W. S. Patterson, 1884-1888; R. B. Tozer, 1890-1892; 
Geo. S. Wrigley, 1892-1893; S. H. Meyers, 1895; F. T. Kenyon, 
1896-1897; A. S. Chick, 1898-1901; Charles Parker, 1902; Lyman 
H. Morse, 1903-1905; R. A. Burrows, 1906; I. M. Compton, 1907- 
1909; Frederick Emerson, 1910-1911; George Buck, 1912. 

Present Membership (1912), thirty-five. 

Weston 

On the twenty-eighth of November, 1815, the Baptist church 
in Londonderry, Vt., dismissed its pastor, Rev. Gershom Lane, 
and five members, to unite with other members of the churches in 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 281 

Andover and Mount Holly in organizing a Baptist church in 
Weston. On the same date a church was there organized by advice 
of a council, of which Elder Joel Manning was moderator, and 
Samuel Manning, clerk. The names of the constituent members 
were Elder Gershom Lane, Deacon Henry Hall, Timothy Watts, 
Abigail Hall, John Wait, Dolly Wait, Elizabeth Watts, Parker 
Shattuck, Sarah Shattuck, Betsey Wait, Abigail Negus, Lucy 
Brown, Nancy Holt, Betsy Richardson, Sally Lund, Augustus 
Pease, Patty Pease, Sarah Goss, Jacob Foster, Hannah Foster, 
Anna Stertin, Sally Davis, Phoebe Pierce, John BroA\ai, Samuel 
Stertin, Abiel Gray. Ebenezer Farnsworth, David Stertin, William 
Stertin, Martha Farnsworth, Keyes Hall, Mary Gray, Joel Chand- 
ler, Lucy B. Chandler, Sarah Lawrimer, Polly Windship, Prudence 
Pease and Jonathan Tenney. 

Elder Lane continued pastor six years, and the church re- 
ceived additions increasing its membership to forty-eight. For 
the next nine years the church was without pastor, but reported 
to the Association a membership of upward of fifty. In 1831, 
Friend Blood became pastor, and began the harvest that was so 
abundant in this region, baptizing thirteen and receiving four by 
letter. 

In the next two years, 1832-1833, Rev. M. L. Fuller, as pastor, 
witnessed the climax of that ingathering, and baptized thirty-one 
and received seven by letter, carrying the membership to one 
hundred and three. He was followed by Joseph Parker, two years. 
In 1836, Samuel Pollard was ordained, and for seven years served 
the church during what appears to have been the period of most 
raj)id continued growth and prosperity in the history of the church. 
Substantial accessions were made annually by baptism and letter, 
and notwithstanding losses by death and removal, the membership 
reached its maximum number, one hundred and forty -six. In 
1836, the church resolved itself into a Benevolent Society for the 
circulation of the Bible among the destitute, and for other bene- 
voleTit purposes. In 1838, a meeting-house was erected and dedi- 
cated, Elder R. M. Ely, i)reaching the sermon, and Elder T>. Packer 
offering the dedication prayer. Rev. G. S. Stockwcll jireached in 
1844, and was followed by Rev. Rufus Smith, who continued in 



282 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

office about five years. In 1847, the church made special effort 
in evangelism, calling to its help a Mr. Kingsley, of New York, and 
the result was accession of twenty-two by baptism and nine by 
letter. 

Rev. L. Chickering was pastor two years, 1851-1852, then 
followed two years of discouragement without pastoral care, then 
four bright years under the pastoral care of Rev. I. H. Wood. In 
1858, sixteen were baptized. The membership was then one 
hundred and six. 

C. J. Rugg, a licentiate, preached in 1859. Rev. T. B. East- 
man was pastor during the years, 1861-1865. This was the dark 
period of the Civil war, when all our churches were in mourning 
for the fallen. Many from this church and congregation entered 
the Union army. In 1866, Rev. L. Kinney was minister, and the 
following year, assisted by Evangelist Swain and others, the church 
had another season of refreshing. The succession of pastors con- 
tinued as follows, L. Kinney, 1868; C. Brooks, 1869; L. Chicker- 
ing, 1871; C, Blaisdell, 1872-1873; J. Munroe, 1875; L. Kinney, 
1876-1879; I. P. Kellogg, 1882-1883. During the years, 1884- 
1890, the church was pastorless, a season of discouragement and 
depression. Then came Rev. H. C. Searles with encouraging 
voice and energetic effort and under his short pastorate of one year, 
twenty-eight were added by baptism and thirteen by letter. Rev. 
George E. Boynton followed with a five years' pastorate. The 
church began a decline which became the more manifest in 1898, 
when thirty-one were dropped from the roll for various reasons, 
and the reported membership was fifty. Rev. J. R. Conrad 
served 1898-1899; I. P. Farrar, 1900; H. C. Searles, 1901-1902; 
Chas. W. Safford, 1904-1906; R. H. Tibbals, 1907; W. H. Bishop, 
1908-1910; E. B. Russell, 1911, ordained by the church in Septem- 
ber: In the village of Weston there are two other churches, a 
Congregational and a Methodist. The Baptist church has owed 
the continuance of its life for a number of years to the watch care 
of the State Convention, under its energetic Secretary, W. A. 
Davison. Its difficulties have at times seemed almost insur- 
mountable, but its existence has appeared of no small value. For 
years it has been a feeder of other neighboring Baptist churches, 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT "283 

and a means of grace to the community. With the coming of 
Pastor Russell it has put on strength and beauty. It has thorough- 
ly renovated and beautified its house of worship, secured the use 
of a parsonage, reorganized its societies, and entered upon work 
along new lines with very promising prospects. Mr. Russell shep- 
herds the Andover people also, and the relation between the two 
churches is close and friendly. 



Chapter XVII. 

BARRE ASSOCIATION, NOW KNOWN AS THE 
VERMONT CENTRAL ASSOCIATION 

The Barre Association was organized in 1807, and received its 
name according to the usual custom from the place where it was 
organized. The earliest records accessible are the minutes of 1810. 
It then consisted of the churches in Calais, of about twenty-eight 
members; Williamstown, membership not reported; Barre, thirty- 
four; Chelsea and Tunbridge, thirty-nine, Elder Samuel Hovey, 
father of Alvah Hovey, D. D.; Randolph, thirty -one; Braintree, 
forty-four. Elder E. Huntington; Topsham, forty-seven; Royal- 
ton, fourteen; Warren, fifteen; Hanover, N. H., one hundred and 
seventeen; Lyme, N. H., thirty-eight. 

The last two churches were received in 1810. Chelsea and 
Royalton churches had previously been in the Woodstock Associa- 
tion . These nine Vermont churches were small, weak and scattered, 
and most of them like sheep without a shepherd. Their desti- 
tute condition moved the Massachusetts Baptist Missionary 
Society to send missionaries among them, whose visits were eagerly 
welcomed and very helpful. Joshua Bradley visited and preached 
in this region in 1804, and Samuel Ambrose in 1809, and Barnabas 
Perkins in 1816. The reports of these missionaries give evidence 
of the s])iritual destitution of these fields. The churches needed 
the fellowshij) and co-operation of one another. Their spiritual 
leaders at the first, and for many years, were Elder Samuel Hovey, 
father of the late Alvah Hovey, D. D., and Elder E. Huntington, 
pastor of the Braintree church from his ordination in 1810 till 18'-28. 

To the Association churches were added from time to time, 
the Roxbury in 1811; Sharon, 1812; Bethel, 1815; Kingston, Han- 

NoTE. — The historical sketches of this Association and its churches were 
prepared by Rev. W. A. Kinzie and read at the Centenary of the Association 
held in Barre. 1907. 



286 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

over and Rochester in 1819; Thetford and Fairlee, 1817; Plainfield, 
1820. 

The Association in 1820, numbered thirteen churches, eight 
ordained ministers, and four hundred and seventy members. Still 
other churches have been admitted until forty different churches 
have been connected with this Association. Its territory has been 
most of Washington county, all of Orange county, with two towns 
in New Hampshire, one in Caledonia county, Vt., one in Addison 
county, and five in Windsor county. 

The original name, Barre Association, was retained till 1871, 
when it was changed to The Vermont Central Baptist Association, 
which it still retains. 

For a few years the sessions of the Association were mainly 
inspirational. Letters from the churches were read, the condition 
of those not reporting were inquired into, messengers from corres- 
ponding associations were welcomed, and brought tidings, and 
preached sermons, and encouraged the churches. 

In 1810, they began to confer on the subject of forming a 
Domestic Missionary Society to aid in securing preaching in this 
region. A committee was appointed, and a treasurer to receive 
and manage funds contributed for the purpose. Generous gifts 
were made for se\'eral years, and the money expended in supplying 
the ])astorless churches as far as possilile with preaching, at the 
cost of three dollars per Sunday. 

Meanwhile foreign missions began to attract attention, and 
funds were contributed by churches and individuals for that pur- 
pose. One item in the account for 1824, is ten cents, the only 
property of a little son, five years old, who died October, 1823. 

Meanwhile the languishing condition of the churches began to 
awaken alarm in the minds of some, and the Association in 1833. 
passed the following: "Resolved, that we regard with deep con- 
cern the deplorable destitution of ministers in the churches of 
this Association, and having no prospect of a greater supply, we do 
consider it important that our condition be represented to the 
Board of the \>rmont Baptist State Convention, at their annual 
meeting in October next, with a request that said board appoint 
a missionarv to labor within the bounds of this Association one 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT "^87 

full year." At the same time measm-es were taken to raise in the 
Association money for the support of the missionary as far as 
possible. 

The report of the managers, in 1836, reveals how imperative 
was the need of the Association at the time advance steps were 
taken, and the success of the new measure. The report is as fol- 
lows: "While the suspension of discipline and Gospel order — the 
entire absence .of Saiibath school instruction, and of pastoral labor 
and effort to procure it, and the tremulous pulsation of most of 
the churches in this Association, giving fearful apprehensions for 
their vitality — and the desecration of the Lord's Day, and lax, 
and even skeptical sentiments, were affecting our youth and society, 
while family prayer and other contracting influences were faint 
and few, some individuals were excited, by a redeeming spirit, to 
propose an effort to obtain a missionary for the Association." 

Something was subscribed and a committee chosen for the 
purpose. On application the committee ajjpropriated a sum, and 
chose two of their body to co-operate. One year passed by — the 
anxious committee inquired and looked in vain — the praying few 
still cried to God, between the porch and the altar. "Spare thy 
people. Lord, give not thy heritage to reproach." At length Bro- 
ther Willard from Massachusetts, was induced to undertake, and 
after nine months encouraging labor, subscriptions were increased, 
and a})plication was made to the Convention to support two 
missionaries in the Association, which was granted, and brother 
Root obtained as an associate. 

In \iew of the present aspect of the churches : 

"Resolved. 1. That there is cause for gratitude to God for 
his blessing on the judicious, persevering labors of the missionaries. 

'' Resolved. "2. That the baptism of /ori?/ by them in fellow- 
shij) with our body, and the accession of two newly organized 
churches, — the settlement of three ministers by ordination, and the 
promising location of two others,which gives pastors to six churches, 
and suj)ply of six other churches by the missionaries one week 
in each month, besides two weeks in a month where the remnant 
of three churches may be collected for ])ublic worshi]), furnishes 
evidence of the benefit of missionarv labor." 



288 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

In 1832, the Association attained a membership of six hundred 
and twenty-four, which was to be its record mark for the next 
seventy-five years. From that point the membership fell some- 
what rapidly till it reached its lowest point in 1851, when it num- 
bered two hundred and seventy -three. From that point the 
general movement has been upward, till in 1912, it reached its 
highest mark, seven hundred and twenty-two. 

The causes of continued weakness and declension, it were 
better to let the Association itself state, than to give them by 
inference or conjecture. 

A note in the minutes of 1830, reads: "The difficulties and 
labors and discouraging aspects of the churches, as expressed or 
alluded to in their letters, is chiefly owing to the alliance of Free 
Masonry with the churches. To dissolve or break this connection 
appears to be the desire and prayer of all." 

In 1850, the committee on the state of religion reported: 

"The state of religion in this Association presents a great 
moral waste. The cause of Christ has in a great measure, lost its 
strong hold on the affections of our members, and spirituality is 
dying out of their hearts. The administration of the Word and 
ordinances is enjoyed by none of our churches more than half the 
time, by some one-fourth, and by a number not at all. Our 
churches are as sheep scattered upon the mountains; the watch- 
men are left, l)ut a very small number. Each church can say of its 
own condition, 'The ways of Zion mourn because few come to her 
solemn feasts.' " 

The report the next year was in the same vein. 

"Should God in His providence remove a few of our labouring 
and praying brethren from these feeble churches they would be 
unaljle long to sustain their visibility; and even the Association 
itself would be blotted from the list of Associations in the State." 

In 1855, not a single baptism was reported. 

In 1856, John Kyle gave as a few of the hindrances: "One, 
the indisposition of Baptists to unite with churches near them. 
Living at a distance from a churcli or undervaluing church privileges 
they do not transfer their membership. Another is want of per- 
sonal efif'ort, the demand for an interesting j^reacher, etc. Another, 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 289 

the spirit of covetousness. To these remarks there are very honor- 
able exceptions. " 

But praying men and women have not been wholly lacking. 
The Association has not become extinct. Some of its churches 
have been extinguished. To other churches times of refreshing 
have come, at long intervals, indeed, but often enough to prevent 
extinction. Some new churches have been built up and after de- 
pendence have become independent and even strong, notably the 
churches in Montpelier and Barre. 

CHURCHES 

Sharon 

The Sharon Baptist church was organized in 179'2, at Beaver 
Meadows, in West Norwich, a small settlement then partly in 
Sharon and partly in Norwich. Meetings were held at various 
houses and barns. Rev. James Parker was pastor part or all of 
the time from 1809 till 1838. J. Crowley, 1842-1845. In 1797, 
the membership was fourteen; in 1802, it was thirty. The largest 
membership reported was in 1843-1844, when it was seventy. 
In 1869, the church voted to hold its meetings in Sharon village, 
one-half the time, and the next year they began to plan for a house 
of worship there. The building was erected and the vestr^^ oc- 
cupied in May, 1872. The building was dedicated the next Sej)- 
tember. Rev. Dwight Spencer preaching the dedication sermon. 
The church has never been a strong one, financially , nor numerically, 
but has striven to exert a spiritual influence and to make kno\\ai 
the truth . The list of pastors since 1 808, is as follows : C . D . Fulle r, 
1868; A. W. Boardman, 1869-1870; R. Smith, 1871; J. S. Small, 
1872-1873; L. B. Steele, 1874-1881; W. J.Smith, 1882; H. E. 
Robbins, 1883; R. S. Cook, 1885-1886; A. Meyers, 1890; H. V. 
Baker, 1895-1898; L. B. Steele, 1899-1903; R. M. Bennett, 1907- 
1908. 

Bakke 

In May, 1888, Rev. Alexander McGeorge, State Missionary, 
visited Montpelier, at their earnest request. He found that 
church in a very discouraged state, soon after the resignation of 



290 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

their pastor, Rev. E. D. Mason. He visited every Baptist family 
in the place, learned that once there was a Baptist church in 
Plainfield, twelve miles away, drove there and found all the Bap- 
tist families that were left; there learned of Barre and visited the 
place, finding quite a number of Baptist families. He planned 
to unite all these people into one Society with Montpelier for a 
center, secure a strong preacher, and get them on a self-supporting 
basis. Mr. McGeorge was welcomed and his suggestions promptly 
followed. The Methodist church opened their house for the 
first Sunday ser\nce. Then a hall was hired, a Sunday school 
organized, and a beginning made, promising well for the future. 
The Barre people were eager to be organized at once, as a church ; 
this, however, was temporarily postponed. July, 1889, a church, 
with twenty -three members, was organized and duly recognized, 
August 7. Rev. G. F. Raymond, pastor of the Montpelier church 
was engaged to preach every Sunday afternoon. The congrega- 
tion soon increased from twenty-five to one hundred and twenty- 
five. The next year the Barre church entertained the Associa- 
tion. Its membership had increased to fifty-five. 

Rev. P. C. Abby was called to the pastorate in 1891, and 
began at once an aggressive work. The church prospered and in- 
creased in membership from fifty-five to one hundred and thirty- 
nine before the close of this pastorate, in 1897. They began to 
plan for a meeting-house, which was soon erected and sufficiently 
completed as to be serviceable in 1894. 

The new church edifice was planned more with reference to 
the future prospects of the church than to its present ability, and 
the debt upon it soon became a heavy burden. 

Rev. Edward M. Fuller was next called to the pastorate. 
The response to eAangelistic efforts of pastor and people was very 
encouraging. The membership increased to two hundred. Sun- 
day school work was specially prosperous. A Baracca class of 
forty members and a Philathea class of large proportions were 
organized; mission work was begun at East Barre and Webster- 
ville. 

The greatest hindrance to the development of the church 
appeared to be the del)t on the church. The Convention Board, 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 291 

upon the receipt of the Ford Legacy, m 1900, appropriated five 
thousand dollars to apply as a subscription on the debt — on con- 
dition that the church secure pledges for a sufficient sum above that 
amount to cancel the indebtedness. The church met the con- 
ditions and the debt was cancelled. Mr. Fuller resigned in 1903, 
that he might take up the work of State secretary of the State 
Sunday School Association. Rev. W. A. Kinzie became pastor 
on the following Sunday, April 5, and remained till 1907. Evange- 
listic meetings under the direction of Evangelist, Rev. E. E. 
Da^•idson, resulted in the addition of thirty-seven members in 
1904. At the close of this pastorate the number of members was 
two hundred and fifty-six. The church exercised a supervision 
to some extent over the Italian and the Swedish missions in the 
city. 

In 1808, William E. Jkaisted became pastor and entered 
upon his work with zeal. Thirty-three were added that year and 
twenty-nine were dismissed to form the new church in Wehster- 
ville, which was recognized February 4, 1909. 

The growth of the church has continued till, in 191''2, it num- 
bered three hundred and two. In 1910, the church edifice was com- 
I)leted by a granite veneer, greatly impro^-ing both the appearance 
and the permanence of the structure. 



Historical Sketch of the East Bethel Church 

{Taken from the Centenary Address of acting-pastor J. Wesley 
Miller, 1912) 

August 24, 1812, a gi-ouj) of Bajjtist believers of the vicinity of 
East Bethel, gathered at the home of Elisha A. Fowler (the present 
home of O. F. (Godfrey), and agreeable to their request for advice 
and assistance in organizing a church, were met by Elder James 
Parker and Brother S. Gould from Sharon; Elder Timothy Grow 
and Brothers 1). Davidson and S. Alfred from Ilartland; Elder 
Elijah Huntington from Braintree. and Elder Micaiah Coburn 
from Chelsea and Tunbridge. 'J'hc\- organized a Baptist church 



292 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

with ten original members as follows: Samuel Peake, Elisha A. 
Fowler and his wife, Mary, Jacob Lerned and his wife, Ehzabeth, 
Leonard Fisk, Anne Cole, Lucy Bradford, Electra Fowler and 
Achsa Tracy. Samuel Peake's name appears in the charter of 
the town of Bethel, the first granted by the State of Vermont, 
under date of December 23, 1779. He was the Baptist leader in 
Bethel and the third actual settler in the town. 

There had been earlier Baptist organizations in this part of 
the State. The Church of Christ in Randolph and Bethel, called 
the Second Baptist church in Randolph, which was the immediate 
predecessor of the East Bethel church, was constituted with ten 
members on November 18, 1800. Two of these original members. 
Deacon Elisha A. Fowler and Anne Cole, later became members of 
the little group which founded the East Bethel church. The 
Randolph-Bethel church was constituted by a council of the Bap- 
tist churches in Chelsea, Braintree, and Randolph. The new East 
Bethel church soon became the successor of the Royalton church, 
and in all probability inherited whatever of Baptist interest there 
had previously been in Bethel. 

Business meetings were frequently held in the schoolhouse 
near Marsh's Mill or Bethel center village. Sunday services were 
also occasionally held in that village, both before and after the 
erection of the Union brick meeting-house, now the Universalist 
church building. It is of interest to note that the dedicatory 
sermon at the opening of this building was preached December 
24, 1816, by the Rev. Aaron Leland, eminent Baptist minister and 
later lieutenant-governor of the State. 

The East Bethel church appointed a meeting-house society, 
February 10, 1824, at the home of Deacon Fowler, where nearly 
twelve years before the church had been constituted. Samuel 
Hebard gave the building site, and the committee was instructed 
to "hire a house built in the cheapest and best manner and as 
large as money can be raised to defray the expense of." On 
November 26, 1824, the committee reported the completion of the 
present structure at an expense of one thousand and sixty dollars. 
Because of neglect, the building had to undergo extensive repairs in 
1861. The old pews were removed and the present "slips" substi- 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 293 

tuted. The old gallery Mas taken down and a low gallery placed 
between the two entry doors, and the interior generally renovated. 
Fifteen years ago the low gallery was removed and a new pulpit 
placed. In 1910, about five hundred dollars was expended by the 
Ladies' Aid Society in putting the house into its present neat and 
comfortable condition. During the year, electric lights have been 
installed and the exterior woodwork refinished. 

The first pastor to hold services in the new meeting-house 
was Isaac Sawyer, who stayed three years. He was followed by 
Willard Kimball. Then came Simeon Chamberlain, who died 
after only one year's service. In 1836, Leonard Kimball was 
recei\ed into membership by letter and soon ordained as minister. 
The following year, one Deacon Orsemus Blodgett, was given a 
written license to preach. During most of the 40's and 50's there 
was almost utter stagnation in the Baptist ranks, interest centering 
in the Union church of the ^•illage. 

After something like seventeen years of recordless sleep, the 
Rev. Austin Norcross, of Derby, was settled as pastor in 1859. 
He pro\'ed the right man for the place and brought the church 
into active spiritual life, besides carrying thru to a successful issue 
the extensive repairs and improvements upon the meeting-house 
undertaken during 1861. He served six years, being followed by 
the Rev. A. N. Woodruff. During the year, 1867, the church en- 
joyed its greatest revival under the ministration of the Rev. Jona- 
than Tilson, who conducted three weeks of evangelistic services. 
In 1868, the Rev. Leonard Tracy returned to his boyhood church 
and spent the last two years of his ministry as its pastor. Two 
other members of the church became ministers, Charles B. Turner 
and ('yrus Tucker. 

Mr. Norcross returned to his former field in 1872 and stayed 
two years. Then George B. Wheeler served the church for one 
year, 1878- 1879, and in April, 1882, Ora F. Taylor began a six-year 
pastorate, he being the last resident pastor the church has had. 
For twenty-four years the pulpit has been sup})lied and more or 
less ])astoral work done by temporary supplies. Indeed, the people 
have had many supplies during the one hundred years of their 
church life. For the past five years the church has enjoyed the 



294 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

faithful services of acting-pastor Miller, a clergyman of the Metho- 
dist faith. There has been a recent revival of spiritual interest 
in the community and the Baptist people are looking forward -wdth 
hope to a union pastorate with the Free Baptist church of East 
Randoli)h. 

Groton 

Elder James Peacham founded the Baptist church in Groton 
in 1813. The constituent members were Phoebe Darling, wife of 
John Darling; Anna Welch, wife of Jonathan Welch; Edmund 
Welch and wife; Sarah, wife of Stephen Welch; Betsy Morrison, 
wife of Bradburj' Morrison; John Emery and wife, Sarah; Mary, 
wife of James Hooper; Edmund Morse; Josiah Paul and wife, 
Sarah. Rev. J. Spaulding was one of the earliest ministers. He 
was on this field in 1814. In 1824, Rev. Otis Robinson was in- 
stalled pastor, and for a number of years the church prospered. 
But at length trouble arose; Mr. Robinson became deranged and 
moved away and the church received a shock which appeared to 
take its life. 

In 1840, however, it seems to have been resuscitated and 
reported to the Association eleven members. There was an in- 
crease for several years until the number reached forty-two, after 
which came another period of decline. Rev. P. W. Fuller closed 
a pastorate in March, 1868, and was succeeded by Rev. T. Wrinkle. 
In the third and last year of his {)astorate, nineteen were baptized 
and two received by letter, the membership becoming eighty-nine. 
Rev. G. Carpenter was pastor, 1872-1875. In 1876, thirteen were 
added. Rev. W. Crocker served in 1877-1878; S. F. Dean, 1879- 
1880. Rev. Joseph Freeman, D. D., was engaged in 1881, and 
the following year twenty-one were received by baptism and 
thirteen by letter. After Rev. W. Worthington had labored one 
year, 1883, Rev. W. G. Clough entered upon a successful pastorate 
of three years, and was followed by Rev. A. N. Woodruff, who 
remained four years and welcomed thirty-three by baptism. The 
church then numbered one hundred and fourteen members. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 295 

T. C. Souter served one year. There were l)ut two pastors 
in the next decade, Thomas TelHer, 1894-1898, and G. W. Clough, 
second pastorate, 1899-1905. The year, 1904, was one of deep 
sadness on account of prevaihng sickness and the death of three 
prominent members, Martha J. Robinson, -^ndow of a former 
pastor, Mrs. Mary E. Clough, the wife of Pastor G. W. Clough, 
a woman greatly beloved, and Brother A. H. Ricker, a strong- 
support of the church, spiritually and financially. 

The more recent pastors have been H. A. Calhoun, 1906 1907; 
H. S. Meyers, 1908. Another strong pillar of the church died in 
1909, Deacon Jefferson Renfrew, who perpetuated his influence 
for the church by a bequest of one thousand dollars in trust to 
the State Convention for the benefit of the Groton church. • The 
year, 1911, was marked by the ingathering of twenty -two new 
members, seventeen l^y baptism. Present membership, one hun- 
dred and thirty. 

MONTPELIER 

Elder Ziba Woodworth, a Free Will Baptist minister, was a 
citizen of the town at its organization, and on its record is a certif- 
icate of his good standing in the Baptist church, prior to his resi- 
dence here. He was a Revolutionary soldier, who had Ijeen des- 
perately wounded at Fort Griswold. He was chosen in 1791, when 
the to^\^l was organized. From about 1800, ]Mr. Woodworth was 
in the habit of exhorting as occasion offered, and in 180C, was or- 
dained and preached from 1806 till 18'26. Piiilij) Wheeler is 
named in Walton's Register as a Baptist preacher in 1815 and 1816. 
and again in 18*23 to 18'-25. Also, Samuel Parker from 18*27 to 18'i'2. 
A Free Will Baptist church was organized in 1812, according to 
Rev. I. D. Stewart's History of The Free Will Baptists. In 1826, 
Elder Morse visited Montpelier and found there the remnants of 
three Baptist churches and commenced labor with the central one. 
Opposition was strong, but the Lord worked with him and several 
were converted. These, with such as came from the old churches, 
united in a new organization, and after two months he left them a 
promising church of thirty-five members. Another church of the 



296 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

same denomination was organized in 1840, and of this Elder Kennis- 
ton was pastor 1840, and Zebina Young in 1841-1843. Elder 
Jackson, 1849. No mention is made of these churches in our 
Associational minutes, of course, but these early churches contri- 
buted their part to Vermont Baptist History. In 1854, the State 
Convention, through its agent, made an attempt to establish Baptist 
work in Montpelier, but the people were not ready to co-operate 
and the effort failed. 

The present church in Montpelier was organized in June, 
1865, with fourteen persons, five of whom were men. Rev. Rufus 
Smith, State Convention agent, was elected clerk and supplied 
the pulpit for a time. The first services were held in the Village 
Hall. In October, 1865, a call was extended to Rev. H. D. Hodge, 
but he dechned. In February, 1866, Rev. N. P. Foster was called 
and began his pastorate the October following,«remaining till April, 
1869. Eleven had been added before this pastorate and seven- 
teen more came in while Mr. Foster was there. Services con- 
tinued in the Village Hall for a few months and then were held in 
Freeman Hall, and on November 12, 1865, they began in the Court 
House where they continued till 1868, when they were ordered by 
the Assistant Judge to vacate the premises. This served to spur 
them to the erection of a church edifice for which the ground was 
broken March 23, 1886, and the basement put into use the follow- 
ing November, though there were no windows in as yet. 

The church had worshipped in sixteen different rooms. The 
cost of the new edifice was seventeen thousand dollars. Dedicated 
January 29, 1873. 

The church has been served by the following pastors: N. P. 
Foster, 1868-1869; Wm. Fitz, 1870; N. N. Glazier, 1871-1878; H. 
A. Rogers, 1879-1882; E. D.Mason, 1883-1887; G. F. Raymond, 
1888-1890; G. D. Webster, 1892-1894; E. B. Earl, 1895; W. A. 
Davison, 1897-1899; W. J. Clones, 1900-1903; Guy C. Lamson, 
1904-1905; A. H. Roberts, 1906; H. A. Buzzell, supply, 1907; L. J. 
Bamburg, 1908-1911; I. H. Benedict, 1912. 

The church has had difficulties to overcome, discouragements 
and trials, heavy financial burdens, and the loss of members by 
death and removals, but it courageously continued and grew 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 297 

in numbers and resources. In the decade, 1870-1880, its member- 
ship more than doubled. In the next decade, it increased fifty 
per cent, attaining the membership of one hundred and forty-three. 
Careful revision of the roll at intervals has kept the total number 
reported reasonably near the number of resident members. The 
church has a fine house of worship, pleasantly located, and has an 
important mission in the Capital city of the State. 

Bearing upon the early religious history of Montpelier and 
indicating how strong was Baptist influence there as early as 1817, 
is an extract of a letter from "a respectable minister in Vermont 
to one of the editors of the American Baptist Missionary Maga- 
zine," dated, Montpelier, November 5, 1818. The fact that this 
letter was sent to the Baptist Magazine is the ground of the in- 
ference that the pastor referred to was either Mr. Wheeler or Mr. 
Woodworth. 

"Rev. and dear Sir: — Having occasion to be present at the 
meeting of the legislature on the eighth ult., I send you the follow- 
ing account. The day the assembly met was remarkably pleasant, 
the concourse great, and during the usual religious solemnities the 
audience was solemn and attentive. In the evening, a large as- 
sembly convened in the State House to hear a discourse from Bro- 
ther E. of Rockingham. After the exercises. Rev. Mr. W., the 
worthy minister pf the place, arose, and noticed the great advan- 
tages his people derived two years ago (a time of reformation in 
his parish, in which he had more than a hundred added to his 
church), from the faithful labors of his christian friends on the 
legislature, in conferences and other meetings during the session; 
and he solicited the same faithful services during their continuance 
in the place. 

"Mr. W. has a number of conference and prayer meetings es- 
tablished, in the course of a week in the village, which are well 
attended by his own people, and by many of the legislature. On 
Sabbath evening, conference is attended in the State House and 
even since the legislature has been in session, on that evening the 
house has been crowded. Men of various ranks come forsvard, and 
pray and exhort with great fervor. On one of these evenings, when 
gentlemen from every part of the State were gathered, the scene 



298 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

became highly interesting, although a time of no special revival 
of religion. I was filled with admiration to hear the prayers and 
exhortations of Councillors, Representatives, Secretary of State, 
Judges of Courts and from some of the ablest attorneys in the 
State. None appeared to speak for the sake of making a Aain 
show, but from the heart, with great solemnity and in gospel 
simplicity. There, then, was the cross of Christ, the dangerous 
state of the unregenerate man, the necessity of a new heart and 
of a holy life; the great obligation of professors to live as examples 
to others, and the importance of all being prepared for a day of 
judgment. I said to myself, can these be members of a State 
Legislature where the intrigues of worldly policy and a contempt 
of the humiliating doctrines of Christ are supposed to prevail? 
His Excellency, the Governor, and his Honor, the Lieutenant-Gov- 
ernor (J. Galusha and Paul Brigham), appear to be men of christian 
sobriety, who instead of effecting a kind of courtly hauteur are 
punctual when official duties will permit, in attending these devo- 
tional meetings as well as the regular worship on the Lord's Day. 
In this venerable body a person is not under necessity of con- 
cealing his religion to be respected, but such is the happy in- 
fluence of the Gospel in this Legislature that a man of undoubted 
piety is sure to be esteemed on that account." 

Randolph 

This church is emphatically a child of the Convention. In 
1874, Re^^ J. H. Parmelee, under the direction of the Board, liegan 
his labors in Central Vermont and in June, of that year, began to 
preach in West Randolph. Meetings were held in Academy Hall. 
Mr. Parmelee closed his work, January 1, 1876, and iVpril l,Rev. 
D. C. Bixby took up the work. At a meeting of the Baptists of 
the place. May 8, 1876, the First Baptist church of West Ran- 
dolph, was organized, with twenty -five members. It was recognized 
as a regular Baptist church by a council held in June, and the 
next day was formally received into the Association, which met at 
Sharon. In 1877, a lot was secured, under the lead of Col. J. J. 
Estey, and a chapel was completed and the property deeded to 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IX VERMONT 299 

the church in June, 1880, with a mortgage of one thousand dollars 
on the lot. Mr. Robert J. Kimball, of Brooklyn, N. Y., now came 
to the assistance of the church and offered to complete the edifice 
and let the members put in their efforts to clear off the mortgage. 
Mrs. Kimball put in the baptisterj\ Mrs. A. R. Lounsbury gave 
the chandelier. Deacon ^V. B. Chandler gave the pulpit. Mrs. 
E. R. DuBois gave the Bible. A memorial bell was given by 
Wm. H. DuBois for his wife, a member. The dedication serxaces 
took place September 1, 1881. 

The pastors have been as follows: J. S. Goodall, 1878-1882; 
J. A. Pierce, 1883-1891; S. Robson, 1891-1896; T. A. Howard, 
1897-1901; Browni E. Smith, 1902-1903; Samuel Knowles, 1904- 
1906; W. H. Hamilton, 1908; J. Wallace Chesboro, 1910-1911. 

In 1810, this church federated with the Methodist church in 
the place. 



Some Extinct Churches. — Vermont Central Association 
Braintree 

Church organized March 5, 1799. First pastor. Rev. Elijah 
Huntington, who was ordained June 18, 1800, and labored here 
till his death in 1828. The meeting-house was built in the summer 
of 1815. After the death of Mr. Huntington, the church had no 
pastor for over twenty years and preaching only occasionally. 
The church became much reduced, and in a poor condition, when 
Rev. J. Tilson, who was born in Randolph and spent his early 
days in this vicinity, came on to the field and began to work for 
the upbuilding of the church. This was in 1859. The church, 
encouraged by his efforts, called as pastor. Rev. H. D. Hodge, 
who remained seven years. The church increased from sixteen 
to seventy-six. This is the largest number in the history of the 
church. The Sunday school was organized in 1859, when the 
church was revived. For a number of years, this was the strong- 
est church in the Association. But in the seventies, a decline set 
in from which the church never rallied. The report from the 
church in 1904 showed four members remaining. 



300 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

The name of the church disappeared from the minutes from 
this time till 1812. During the year previous, Rev. J. W. Chesboro, 
of Randolph, conducted services nearly every Sunday, and was 
assisted by Colporteur Watt in a series of meetings. Eight were 
baptized, and the name of the church is again enrolled with eleven 
members, under the pastoral care of Mr. Chesboro. 

The influence of the little church is not confined to the touTi 
of Brain tree, for there have gone out from it a number of strong 
preachers, among whom are Rev. Joseph Huntington, Rev. Ado- 
niram J. Huntington, D. D., Professor in Columbia College, Jona- 
than Tilson, and Wheel ock Parmelee, D. D., once pastor at Jersey 
City, N. J. 

Calais 

A Baptist church was organized here in 1810. A reference 
to it, in an account of a visit by one of the Massachusetts Mission- 
ary Society missionaries in 1810, says it had a membership of about 
twenty -eight at that time. W'e have no further knowledge of it. 

Corinth 

Organized in 1783. In 1795, Thomas West was pastor and 
the membership was eighty-eight. It was not in the list of the 
Association in 1810. 

Barre and Plainfield 

A record book is perserved of a church organized August 30, 
1838, at the home of Elder Lyman Culver. Three ministers were 
present, James Parker, Lyman Culver and Friend Blood. The 
chief point in the examination of members seems to have been the 
communion question. The Articles of Faith of the Danville 
Association were adopted. The original members of this church 
were Barnabas Webb, Jacob Perkins, Elijah Perry, Reuben Nichols, 
David Reed, Rlioda Reed, Hannah Peck, Sarah Webb, Abigail 
Stone. Besides these nine original members, the record contains 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 301 

the names of eleven men and eleven women. In the twelve meet- 
ings recorded, delegates were chosen to represent the church in the 
Association, three different years. In 1851, one of these delegates 
was Rev. Friend Blood. As there is only one Plainfield church 
reported in the minutes, this church must have been a successor to, 
or a reorganization of, the Plainfield church, organized at a school- 
house in 1809. 

Marshfield 

The Baptist church was organized in Marshfield in 1833. 
For several years it is reported. In 1834, it had thirty-four mem- 
bers. The membership remained about the same for some years. 
There was another Baptist church in the town of Plainfield and 
in 185'2, the two united under the name of Plainfield and Marsh- 
field church. Thus ended the separate existence of the Marshfield 
church. 

Plainfield 

The Baptist church was organized October 17, 1809, at the 
schoolhouse near Deacon James Perry's (south district) . 

The members were James Boutwell and wdfe, who withdrew 
from the Congregational church for that purpose, Jacol) Perkins, 
Stei)hen Perkins, and his wife, Nancy; John Bancroft, and his wife, 
Phoebe. Elder Jabes Cottle and Elder Elijah Huntington were 
the clergymen present. At the next meeting Philip Wheeler 
made a ])rofession of religion, and joined the church. He became 
pastor afterward, living near the center of Monti)elier, l>ut in 18'-26, 
sold his farm, and a house w^as built for him near the Plainfield 
Sj)rings. In a few years after this, Stephen Perkins refu.sed to 
conunune for the reason that Elder Wheeler had said, "that he 
would not bai)tize a person that he knew intended to join another 
church." Soon after this, he and his brother, Jonathan, withdrew 
from the church. The result of this dissension was that Elder 
^Vheeler soon closed his j^astoral labor with this church, and re- 
moved into Marshfield, one-h;ilf mile east of l*lainfield village, 



302 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

where he died. After Elder AYheeler's dismissal they were sup- 
plied at intervals by different clergymen, none of them living in 
town but Friend Blood. In 1840, the church had twenty-eight 
members, but the numbers decreased until there were only sixteen 
left, when the church united with the Marslifield church, in 
1852, to form the Plainfield and Marshfield church. Walton's 
Vermont Register gives Rev. Jonathan Kinne, as residing in 
Plainfield in 1819, 1821, and 1827-1829. 

Plainfield and Marshfield 

This church was organized in 1852 by a union of the Marsh- 
field with the Plainfield church. A])ram Bedell became pastor 
and resided in Plainfield. The Methodist church edifice was pur- 
chased, removed toward the depot on the lot once owaied by 
Emmons Taft, and repaired. Three years later the report to the 
Convention showed an attendance at the services of forty -five to 
seventy -five, and a Sunday school of fifty members. They also 
report at this time that they are settling up the last of their debt. 
In 1856, this was the strongest church in the Association. Other 
ministers preaching here are Elder Kelton, S. A. Blake, N. W. 
Smith and Theron Clement. The church was reported to the 
Association until 1897, when there were three members. These 
were Mr. James Perry, of Barre; Mr. Jeremy Chamberlain, and 
Mrs. A. Betsy Taft, of Plainfield village. The pastor of the Barre 
church held a ser^'ice with them in the home of Mrs. Taft in the 
fall of 1906. 

RoxBURY, East and West 

There have been two Baptist churches in this town, one in 
the east and one in the west part of the town. The East Roxbury 
church was organized in 1834, and reported to the Association in 
1835, that it had eighteen members. It seems never to have 
flourished, but gradually decreased, until in 1846, it had only twelve 
members, after which there is no rejiort from them. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 303^^ 

In the west part of the towTi, Baptists began to settle very- 
early. Deacon Samuel Richardson came into tovra in 1790. He 
was a deacon in the Congregational church and his wafe was a 
Baptist. One reason assig-ned for his coming into this town was 
that when the bass viol was carried into the church in Randolph, 
it was more than his orthodox nerves could stand and he preferred 
primeval forests, "God's own temple", with the birds to sing 
anthems of praises, and no profane, new fangled instruments, 
made by the hand of man, with which to worship God for him. 
Another early settler was William Gold, a deacon of a Baptist 
church, who came to Roxbury in 1801. We find no evidence that 
a Baptist church was organized here till 1830. Five years later 
it reported twenty -five members, which is the largest number sho\A'n 
in the reports. Rev. S. Willard, a missionary of the State Con- 
vention, visited the church in 1835 and baptized two young married 
couples, and broke bread to fifteen members and an equal number 
of visitors. At his suggestion, a deacon was elected and arrange- 
ments made to settle a pastor. Rev. Lyman Culver was called and 
soon after was ordained. Other ministers, who preached here were 
Re\'. Friend Blood, and Rev. Jehiel Claflin. A strife arose between 
the Baptists and the Congregationalists concerning the ministerial 
land, the result of which was injury to the Baptist church. 

This was only one of the causes. Another may have been 
the fact, that a good, old Baptist lady was " churched " for commun- 
ing Avith the Methodists, and with several others soon left the 
Baptists and united with the Congregationalists, which church was 
organized in 1837, and included in its membership what remained 
of the Methodists, along with this group of Baptists. The last 
report from this church in the Convention minutes is in 1846, 
when it had twenty-four members. In 1849, those members re- 
maining joined A\-ith the Baptists of Northfield, in an organization 
known as the Northfield and Roxbury church, which continued in 
existence until 1863. 

The following incident is on record concerning the Roxbury 
church. One great revival was brought about in this manner. 
A little girl overheard her mother and a neighbor talking of the 
necessity for a christian life and the beauty and purity of a true 



304 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

christian character, and was so deeply impressed that she went 
to praying earnestly in secret, and came out a shining light, lead- 
ing others of her companions to go and do likewise, until it spread 
into the most extended revival ever known in town. 



TOPSHAM 

The Baptist church in West Topsham is nearly contemporary 
with the first settlements in that town, and was organized in 1801, 
with six members. The next two years were years of prosperity 
to the church, and at the close of 1803 there were about sixty 
members. They remained without a pastor till August 13, 1806, 
when Elder Ebenezer Sanborn was ordained and settled over the 
church, becoming their pastor, which relation he held till 1823. 
During the latter part of Elder Sanborn's ministry, owing to out- 
side influences, the church gradually diminished in numbers until it 
became nearly extinct, although there were some influential mem- 
bers of the church remaining, who, in 1834, met and reorganized, 
at which time Rev. Friend Blood became their pastor, and re- 
mained as such ten years, after which the church was supplied 
with preaching by Rev. J. Clement and Rev. John Kyle, until Jan- 
uary, 1858. Rev. N. W. Smith then became their pastor, in which 
capacity he remained until his death in July, 1863, after which 
time they had no pastor but were supplied with preaching from 
diflferent sources for some years. The number of members gradu- 
ally decreased until, in 1880, the church disappeared from the 
Association records. 

East Topsham 

There was also a Baptist church in East Topsham for a few 
years. It was first reported in the Convention minutes in 1859, 
when it had twenty-one members. For the next five years, the 
report shows that the membership remained stationary at twenty, 
and then for three years it was given as sixteen, after which there 
is no further report. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 305 



Brookfield 

The Convention minutes of 1835 report, "two other new socie- 
ties have been organized in Chelsea and Brookfield, which are 
doing well. At the growing village of Brookfield, your missionary 
spent two Lord's days. On the last he administered the ordinances 
of l)aptism, under very encouraging circumstances. Brethren 
from the adjoining towns were present, and the Lord was with us. 
Thirty -two dollars is subscribed, on condition of having monthly 
preaching on Lord's days in this place." This church is reported 
in the Convention minutes from 1842 to 1867. The largest 
number of members is in 1843, when thirty-nine were reported. 
There was a gradual decrease until the last report, in 1867, which 
showed only four. Brookfield has given at least two men to the 
Baptist ministry; Elder Samuel Hovey, who was ordained at 
Chelsea, in 1798, and Rev. Horace N. Hovey. 



Bradford 

A Congregational church was organized in 1795 or 1796. 
About the same time a Calvinistic Baptist church was formed and 
built a meeting-house and were supporting a minister entirely at 
their owm expense. There was much discussion who should have 
the ministerial lands. It was compromised by giving two hundred 
acres to the Congregational pastor and one hundred acres to the 
committee of the Baptist church. Both deeds were made out by 
the selectmen on the same day, August 4, 1796. This society, in 
the course of a few years, became extinct. Their meeting-house, 
which stood in close proximity to the cemetery on the upper plain, 
on the north side of the same, after standing for a long time desolate, 
was taken down, and the land which had been apportioned, or 
rather the consideration for which it was sold, is now in possession 
of another society called Christian Baptists, or Christians in quite 
a different part of the town, and used for the support of their 
ministry'. 



306 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 



ROYALTON 

Organized in 1784. In 1810, it reported fourteen members. 
It was given in the list of the Woodstock Association in 1791, with 
fifty-seven members. The membership remains the same in the 
1800 report, but in 1801 and 1802 it is reduced to twenty-nine 
members; and in 1804, to sixteen members. Regarded as extinct in 
1807. 

Rochester 

The Convention minutes of 1830 tell us that, "In Rochester 
a new church has been formed out of the remains of an old one, 
which had lost its visibility." This church is reported in the 
Convention minutes in 1835, with twenty-four members, in 1836; 
with thirty-two, in 1839; and 1841, with twenty-seven. It is not 
reported again and is regarded as extinct in 1843. Rev. Artemas 
Arnold preached here in 1836. 

Stockbridge 

Organized in 1820, received in the Barre Association in 1822. 
Reported in Convention minutes from 1836-1846, with member- 
ship varying from twenty-seven to twenty-four. Became extinct 
about 1847. 

Warren 

As early as 1810, there was a Baptist church in Warren. 
That year it reported fifteen members. No further information 
available. 

Randolph and Bethel 

Organized November, 1800, and composed of members re- 
siding in Randolph, Tunbridge and East Bethel. The church 
never had a meeting-house, but their public meetings were held in 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 307 

Randolph and mostly at what is now called Painesville, in the 
house or barn of Samuel Benedict. Among the members residing 
in Randolph were, S. Benedict, Deacon Bezaleel Davis, William 
Ramsay, John Evans, William and Thomas Perkins. In June, 
1801, W. Ramsay was ordained pastor. In the course of a few 
years, however, he proved himself unworthy his position as a 
preacher, and even as a church member. He became publicly 
vicious, and finally absconded and was never afterwards heard 
from by the friends here. Previous to leaving, however, he had 
not failed to create such division in the church as resulted in its 
dissolution, after an existence of less than seven years. The pres- 
ent church in East Bethel embraced in its origin in 1812, many of 
the former members of the Randolph and Bethel church. 



NORTHFIELD 

A Baptist church was organized in Northfield, in 1794. Little 
information can be gathered concerning it. In 1844 and 1845, it 
rej)orted a membership of seventeen. It reorganized, in connection 
with the Roxbury church, in 1849. The membership, with the two 
fields combined, was then but twenty-five, and seems never to 
have exceeded twenty -eight. It gradually decreased, till in 1863 
it was but thirteen. Its name then disappeared from the records. 



McIndoes Falls 

Organized in 1853, came into the Barre Association that year 
with sixteen members. In their report to the Convention the 
next year, they say that they have preaching half the time by 
Brother Renfrew, a licentiate of the church, and that the congrega- 
tions are from fifty to seventy-five, with a Sunday school of about 
forty. They had no meeting-house. They are reported in the 
Convention minutes for five years and then disappear. The 
largest membership was twenty-one, in 1854. 



308 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 



Washington 

In 1804, a church, under the name of The Washington 
church, united with the Woodstock Association, with twenty- 
three members. Delegates were sent in 1807, 1808 and 1810. 
These were Thomas Murdough, Benjamin Smith, Fisher Gay, 
Wilham Ayer, Abel Severance and Caleb Woodward. The name 
disappears from the minutes after 1810. 

Lyme 

The minutes of 1810, give the Lyme church as belonging to 
the Barre Association. It was dropped in 1814, to join the Mere- 
dith, N. H., Association. 

Kingston was added to the Barre Association in 1819 and 
dropped in 1830. 

WiLLIAMSTOWN 

The first ecclesiastical organization in this town w^as the 
Baptists, as shown from the Town Records: "October 2, 1794. 
This certifieth that Abner Wise, James Paul, Seth Jones, Ezeliel 
Robinson, Amos Robinson, James Thwing, Waterman Gould, 
Benson Jones, Samuel Pierce, Enos Briggs, Moses Jeffords, and 
Calvin Briggs belongeth to the Baptist Society in Wllliamstow^n 
and Northfield. Cornelius Lynd, Towti Clerk." The first Bap- 
tist sermon is said to have been preached by Samuel Hovey, an 
itinerant preacher. In 1816, they built a meeting-house in the 
east pait of the town, on what is still known as Baptist street. For 
a time, the society was in a flourishing condition, being as large as 
any in town. The pulpit was supplied by men who labored 
zealously; but after more than thirty years from its organization, 
the society became so broken and divided in views, that it was 
dropped from the Association in 1824. It reappears in 1833, and 
is reported to be in a prosperous condition. In 1835, Rev. Ben- 
jamin Willard, an evangelist, employed by the State Convention, 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 309 

labored on this field and a spiritual interest de^•eloped, and fifteen 
were baptized. There were sixty-six members at that time. In 
1839, they built a new meeting-house and Joseph Hmitington was 
ordained as pastor. He was succeeded by Rev. Friend Blood. 
At least two other ministers were ordained by this church, Rev, 
Sherburn Dearbourn and Rev. Joseph S. Small. 

The largest membership ever reported was in 184''2, which was 
ninety-seven. After this the church gradually declined till it 
dropped from the reports in 1880. 

Chelsea and Tunbridge 

A Baptist church was organized in the town of Chelsea in 1795, 
and united with the Woodstock Association in 1797, with sixteen 
members. As early as 1800, it was known as the Chelsea and 
Tunbridge church and at that date had a membership of fifty-one. 
It was dropped from the Barre Association in 1819, for "having 
lost its former visibility. " It reappears in 1823, but soon became 
disorganized again. The Convention minutes report in 1835, 
"Two other new churches have been organized in Chelsea and 
Brookfield." Probably the one in Chelsea was a reorganization 
of the old Chelsea and Tunbridge church, for in the statistical 
tables for that and the succeeding years, it appears under the name 
of the Chelsea and Tun})ridge church. It never gained much 
strength. In 1846, it re]jorted thirteen members. 

The town of Tunbridge had a meeting-house, concerning the 
building of which two curious votes appear in the tovm records. 
One was directing a committee to clear a spot for the meeting- 
house by making a bee, and to find rum at the to^\^l's expense; 
the other, "^'oted to raise the house at the expense of the town, 
only the committee were to find two barrels of rum out of the 
meeting-house fund. " The rum project failed and it was a hard 
and long struggle before the house was completed. 

Strafford 

About 1790, a farm hand, named Robert Dickey, began to 
exhort the people in his neighborhood, in the town of Stratford, 



310 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

and soon thirty people were converted. Calvinistic articles of 
faith were presented and tacitly received and a church organized. 
The following year there was a contest between the Calvinistic 
Baptists and the Free Baptists, which divided the church; ten 
going with the Calvinistics and fifteen with the Free Baptists. 
The former organization was soon dissolved, and the Free Bap- 
tists have occupied the field since and hate there a flourishing 
church. 

Vershire 

The Vershire church was organized September 6, 1852. 
John Kyle was its first pastor. Samuel Maltby, the first deacon. 
The growth of the church was slow for a number of years, but in 
the winter of 1866 and 1867, there was a revival and in the spring 
following, thirteen were received upon profession of their faith. 
At this time the society entirely rebuilt their house of worship, 
expending nearly fifteen hundred dollars. In 1867, a commodious 
parsonage was finished. The pastor's salary at this time was 
four hundred dollars, wood and parsonage. Rev. J. K. Chase 
was pastor. Subsequent pastors were S. S. White, 1871-1875; 
E. P. Merrifield, 1875-1877; G. F. Pay, 1878-1879; H. C. Robbins, 
1880-1882; L. B. Steele, 1883-1885; J. W. Merrill, 1886. The 
prospect for this church about 1870, was that it might become one 
of the most flourishing Baptist churches in the State. 

But shortly after, a decline began from which there was no 
rallying and the church became extinct about 1888. 

Mr. Kinzie, in his account of the church in 1907, says: "The 
church building is still Baptist property, but is being used by the 
Congregationalists. There is no one left to transfer the title." 

Thetford 

There is some doubt how many Baptist church organizations 
there have been in this town. A church was formed there in 1783. 
In 1791, it was a member of the Woodstock Association with 
thirteen members. Nine years later it had fifteen members. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 311 

This church seems to have united wath the Baptists, Hving 
in the town of Fairlee, to form the Thetford and Fairlee 
church. This organization was afiFected at various times before 
it became somewhat permanent, in 1792, 1799, and 1808. 
It continued under this name until 1841, when its territory is 
again enlarged and it became the Thetford, Fairlee and Vershire 
church. In 1852, it is called the Post Mills church. This name 
holds till 1856; then called the Post Mills and Vershire, and later 
becomes the Thetford and Fairlee church. It did not change its 
name again, but continued to grow feeble until its death in 1880. 
The largest membership was in 1835 and 1836, when it was one 
hundred and six. Among the early ministers of this church were 
Simon Spaulding, Timothy Spaulding, Perkins Huntington and 
Artemas Arnold. 

Union Village (Thetford) 

The Union Village church was organized in 1837, and came 
into the Association with twenty-three members. It reached its 
highest strength the next year, when it reported twenty-eight 
members. After this it loses strength, till it disappears from the 
list of churches in 1847. 



Chapter XVIII 

CALEDONIA AND ORLEANS COUNTIES 
DANVILLE ASSOCIATION 

The district included in the Danville Association was at an 
early period distinctly missionary ground. It was the Macedonia 
of Vermont, and continued so for many years. The lure of these 
destitute places drew to them the missionaries of the Maine Bap- 
tist Missionary Society and of the Massachusetts Baptist Mission- 
ary Society, and the evangelistic pastors of the abler Vermont 
Associations. These itinerated from village to village, holding 
meetings on the Lord's Days and as often as possible in the inter- 
vals between, baptizing converts, organizing churches and caring 
for them with commendable zeal. 

The first church organized was the Danville, in 179'2, and 
from this point missionary tours often began. Its early history 
was marred by the immorality of its first pastor, Isaac Root, and 
its growth retarded by dissensions among its members. It had, 
however, its hospitable and devoted members, among them certain 
notable women, filled with missionary ardor. One of these was 
Sally Fisher, secretary of a Mite Society, concerning which, she 
wrote to the president of the Massachusetts Ba])tist Missionary 
Society in 1808. "A few female members of the Baptist church 
in this town, in July, 1808, agreed to form into a society for religious 
purposes. The objects of our meetings were to converse on the 
things of religion, and to comfort and strengthen each other, while 
surrounded with adversaries and beset with the temptations of 
this alluring world. And also to pray that God would continue 
to extend the conquests of his sovereign grace and l)ring in his 
elect from the rude mass of mankind. That he would bless the ex- 



314 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

ertions of his people, who are endeavoring to spread that reUgion, 
which inculcates peace and humility and self-denial, until its be- 
nign influence may be felt by all the human race. A further ob- 
ject of our meeting was to contribute our mite toward the accom- 
plishment of this infinitely important end." Their contribution 
that year was $8.28 out of poverty. 

The Second church was organized in Hardwick, in 1795, a 
short-lived body, extinct in 1801. Amos Tuttle was its only 
pastor. In the decade, 1800-1810, five churches were organized, 
Burke, 1801, Derby Hicks, pastor; Waterford, 1802; Craftsbury, 
1804, Samuel Churchill, pastor; Derby, 1807, Samuel Smith, 
pastor; Coventry, 1809, John Ide, pastor. 

Other early churches were Troy, 1818; Greensboro, 1819; 
Irasburg, 1816; Newport, 1817. 

Probably no man was more influential among these early 
churches than Elder Silas Davison. He was born in Pomfret, 
Ct., November 14, 1768, came into Vermont in 1779, united with 
the Baptist church in Hartland, Vt., 1795. In 1798, he removed 
to Waterford, and while there, as a licentiate, he gathered a small 
church there, most of whose members later joined the church in 
Passumpsic, of which Mr. Davison became pastor, continuing 
such for nineteen years. He was an excellent pastor. Three of 
his sons entered the ministry, though but one of them lived to be 
ordained. These were Prosper, Preserved, and Silas Davison, Jr., 
all young men of promise, and all going in youth almost at the 
commencement of their ministry. 

Danville Association 

The nucleus of the Danville Association consisted of five 
churches, viz. : Littleton and Lancaster in New Hampshire, Crafts- 
bury, Concord and Coventry in Vermont. These organized as an 
Association in December, 1809. Although the Association was 
formed in Danville and took its name from that place, the Dan- 
ville church did not unite with it till 1812; Bethlehem, N. H. and 
St. Johnsbury, Vt., uniting the same year. Five years later 
Derby, Lunenburg and Irasburg were on the list. In 1824, 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 315 

the Assoc-iation included churches in Greensboro, Newport, Mont- 
gomery, Lyndon and Burke, and the Canadian churches, Troy 
and Potton, Eaton, Hadley and Stanstead, — sixteen churches and 
five hundred and fifty -five members. In 1842, the Association 
numbered twenty-one churches, eleven hundred and twenty-seven 
members. By this time, churches had been formed in Morris- 
town, Charleston, Albany, Hardwick, Sutton and Wheelock, 
Bolton, Barford, Clifton, Compton and Sutton. Ten years later 
there were ten churches and four hundred and twenty-eight mem- 
liers, all in Vermont. 

In 1868, Canadian churches had again united and there were 
seventeen churches and nine hundred and three members. The 
highest membership was reached in 1881, thirteen hundred and 
seventeen members and twenty-one churches. During the last 
two decades, owing to the withdrawal of the Canadian churches, 
the Association has numbered but ten churches and about seven 
hundred members. Since 1906, there has been marked gain; the 
total membership in 1910, being two hundred and twenty-two. 

The most recent church accessions are the Jay church, 1883, 
an outgrowth of the North Troy church, Norton, 1907, West 
Derby, 1908. 

Until February, 1907, the Baptists in Norton were members 
of the Baptist church in Dix-ville, Canada, and a convenient house 
of worshij) and church home was erected for them as early as 1896. 
W. J. Gregory, ])astor of the Dixville church, supplied them until 
Rev. A. E. St. Dalmas came to them in October, 1904, and gave 
them faithful service. In January, 1907, Rev. N. T. Hafer, 
Vermont State Evangelist, came to them and assisted St. Dalmas 
in a series of meetings, which resulted in the quickening of chris- 
tians and the c(mversion of some souls. Six were baptized at the 
close of the meetings and an independent church organization 
formed in February, and recognized in March. 

The Wesi Derby church changed from a Free Baptist to Regu- 
lar Ba])tist in 1908. After a most helj)ful supply by Rev. H. A. 
Buzzeli, of Battle Creek, Michigan, Rev. J. T. Buzzell liecame 
pastor and soon three new members were received by ba})tism 
and twenty-four by letter and exj)erience. 



316 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

Conlparati^•ely few years have been marked by general revival 
influences. In 1817, when the Association numbered but seven 
churches, one hundred and twenty-four were added by baptism, 
and seventeen by letter; the total membership of the Association 
being doubled. The Coventry church received forty-nine by 
baptism and the St. Johnsbury, forty-two. In 1825, one hundred 
and twenty-one were added to the eighteen churches. 

The years, 1831 to 1835, inclusive, were fruitful, during which 
time eight hundred and twenty-seven were received by baptism. 
In the years, 1840 to 1844, inclusive, four hundred and ninety-six 
baptisms were reported. From that time, until 1876, the acces- 
sions were small; one hundred and seventeen were received then 
and one hundred and nineteen the year following. 

The ])rincipal work of the Association has been to foster the 
interests of the churches \\athin its bounds. It has, however, not 
been unmindful of the wider work of the kingdom and, in harmony 
with the other Associations, it has given of its substance for the 
general missionary societies, and exerted its influence in favor of 
moral reforms, denouncing human slavery, commending temper- 
ance, encouraging loyalty to the United States government. In 
educational work it took an active interest in connection with the 
Derby Literary and Theological Institution. The iVssociation 
appointed all the trustees, appointed agents for the collection of 
funds and for a time became responsible for the debts of the school, 
and to the extent of its ability, maintained it financially and other- 
wise. 

The relation between the Vermont churches of this Associa- 
tion and their sister churches across the Canadian border was 
always affectionate and cordial. When the Canadian churches 
withdrew and formed a new association within the Pro\'ince of 
Quebec, this Association passed the following resolution. "Re- 
solved, that we cherish with pleasure the memory of the past years 
in which we have been associated, the precious seasons of our 
gatherings, the spirit of christian love and sympathy, never bound- 
ed by any political lines, nor marred by the thought that we were 
the citizens of different governments, — and that now as they go 
to work out God's plan in the new Association, we express and 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 317 

pledge to them a continuance of our love, and pray that God 
may make them fruitful to every good work." 

The name of Rev. F. N. Jersey was long held in loving remem- 
brance among the churches on both sides of the Canadian line, 
and is worthy of special mention here. An appreciative obituary 
of him is to be found in the minutes of this Association for 1860. 
He was born in London, England, January 7, 1817, converted at 
the age of thirteen, and was at once filled with a longing to bring 
others to the Saviour. His zeal in the cause brought him the 
name of "The Praying Sailor." For about twenty years after 
his marriage, he was a regular circuit rider in England, within the 
Methodist denomination. He was a missionary in Ireland two 
years, and while there met Rev. Mr. Marsdon, with whom he had 
frequent conversations on different points of doctrine. Not long 
afterward he became a Baptist, under the imperative convictions 
of the Gospel truths. 

He came to Montreal in ISi'i, with his large family, and soon 
became a resident of the eastern towniships. For nearly fifteen 
years he was successively pastor of the churches of Stanstead and 
St. Armand. His labors were mostly confined to the two town- 
ships and several of the border towns of Vermont. The field of 
his itineracy extended over an area of at least two hundred square 
miles. None but the "Shepherd and Bishop of Souls" can proper- 
ly estimate this good brother's labors, anxieties and weariness in 
such a field. In all seasons of the year, and kinds of weather, on 
every variety of road, by night and by day, he traveled up and 
down the hills and vales of those two townships, sometimes forcing 
his way to an appointment through snow drifts higher than the 
mane of his horse, while a piercing north-wester was driving in 
his face. At other times he must needs contend with mud and 
deejj, miry clay. As long as he was able he continued preaching, 
and when his wife tried to persuade him to desist from further 
attempting to preach, he would say, "I must try or the peojjle 
will be destitute." He died on the thirteenth of March, 1860, 
aged sixty -three years. Among his last words were these: "I feel 
that I am worn out. But the Lord is kind and deals very gently 
with mo. I feel no j)ain. I can slooj) no more till I sleep in Jesus. " 



318 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

Another pastor long identified wnth this Association was Rev. 
R. Godding, for thirty years pastor of the church in East Burke, a 
church, which for a time, was one of the strong ones in the Associa- 
tion. 

Orville Dagget was one of the pioneer Baptists, born in New- 
port, 1799, baptized by John Ide, of Coventry, in 1816, united 
with twenty -three others to form the Newport church, of which 
he continued a member till his death, March, 1868. He studied 
for the ministry in his youth, but was prevented by ill health from 
carrying out his purpose. 

Rev. H. N. Hovey, born in Brookfield, Vt., 1815, removed to 
Albany, in 1827, was converted in 1822, and with seventeen other 
constituent members united with the Albany church, ministering 
to it as pastor twenty-eight years, preaching alternately half the 
time to the Newport church. 

Barnabas Perkins, Samuel Churchill, John Ide, Joseph Ide, 
Daniel Mason, J. G. Lorimer, N. C. Saunders and other worthy 
men, left their impress upon the churches by faithful ministerial 
service. 

Danville 

This church, after dismissing its first pastor in 1799, was with- 
out pastor till December 23, 1807, when it ordained Samuel Wake- 
field, and enjoyed his services one year. Its third pastor was 
Lewis D. Fisher, who was ordained February 23, 1820, and had a 
pastorate of twelve years. Israel D. Newell served from 1833 till 
1836, and M. D. Miller from 1839, one year. In 1831, work was 
begun on a house of worship, which was of brick and cost thirty- 
one hundred dollars. This loaded the church with a debt, which 
was liquidated only by donations from abroad. The name of the 
church disappears from the minutes of the Association in 1852, no 
report from it having been received for several years previous. 

Burke 

Derby Hicks, who was ordained pastor of this church in 1806, 
continued m this oflBce for many years, until his health declined. 
In 1806, twelve were added by baptism and in 1810, thirty. Near- 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 319 

ly two hundred, at various times, were received into the member- 
ship of this church. Weakened by deaths and removals, it be- 
came extinct about 1840. 

Hardwick 

This church had but a brief life of six years. 

Waterford 

The church in Waterford, organized in 1802, was gathered 
by Silas Davison, while a licentiate, and its original members were 
mostly from Hartland. Having no place of worship it did not 
make much progress, though some converts were baptized and 
added to it by Elder Baily, of Peacham. It was dissolved by 
advice of a council in 1811. Most of its members united- with the 
St. Johnsbury and Waterford church. 

First Craftsbury 

Organized 1804, consisting of seven members. It ordained 
Samuel Churchill, February, 1806, and Daniel Mason, June, 1812. 
In 1812, 1817 and 1819, interesting revivals were enjoyed, the 
fruits of which added largely to this church. About one hundred 
at different times were received. In 1819, tAventy-four members 
were dismissed to form the Greensl)()ro church. This weakened 
it, and ill 1817 it became extinct. 

Second Craftsbury 

A second church was organized in Craftsbury, September, 
1831, of seventeen members. The church was supplied, occasion- 
ally by Jona Baldwin, \. H. DoA\nis, Prosper Powell, Moses Flint 
and D. W. Burroughs. They enjoyed some revivals and the 
church once numbered thirty-five, but difficulties arose and in 
1840, most of the members united with the church in Hardwick. 



320 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS EST VERMONT 



Derby 

Organized August 1, 1807, with fifteen members. Samuel 
Smith, installed pastor in 1810, died about a year later. The 
second pastor, Elisha Starkweather, began his work in 1817, was 
silenced in 1819, and restored in 1820. In 1822, in consequence of 
multiplied difiiculties, the church voted to dissolve. 

Coventry 

Organized October 9, 1809. John Ide, one of its members, 
was ordained pastor, June 29, 1815, and continued sixteen years, 
during which time one hundred and fifty, in various ways, were 
added to the membership of the church. Prosper Powell was 
pastor one year. Prosper Davison, ordained September 9, 1834, 
three years, and until his death three years later. Mr. Powell was 
a young man of great promise. He died at Lyme, N. H. A. H. 
House was ordained, June, 1840, and served one year. Rufus 
Godding, N. H. Hovey, A. W. Boardman and H. I. Campbell 
held short pastorates. There were large accessions during the 
years, 1823, 1825, 1828, 1834 and 1839. Several remarkable men 
were licensed to preach by this church: John Ide; his son, George 
B. Ide, Alvin Baily, Gardner Bartlett, Joha. Baldwin and Mr. 
Barker. This church passed through many trials, having had 
to exclude over thirty members. By removals and death, its 
numbers were gradually diminished. Other denominations o^vTied 
a share of its meeting-house, and after 1854 it ceased to report to 
the Association and about 1860 its name disappeared. 

Greenboro 

Organized March, 1819, of twenty-six members. Its pros- 
perity was never great, although it arose to about fifty in number. 
For years great harmony prevailed, but at length one Samuel 
Toms caused the church so much difiiculty, that it was thought 
best to dissolve, which was done, and the church in Hardwick was 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT S^l 

formed from its ruins. Marvin Grow was ordained their pastor, 
September 5, 1821. The main body of this church is said never 
to have lost their union for one another, and that this noble charac- 
teristic was transferred to the Hard wick church, into which they 
were formed. 

Passumpsic 

The Passumpsic church, organized September 24, 1811, con- 
sisted of the following constituent members, viz.: Rev. Silas Davi- 
son, Jacob Ide, John Clark, Nathaniel Haseltine, Olive Armington, 
Dolly Elkins, Sally Stowell, Parsis Davison, Esther Benton, Han- 
nah Baldwin, Ruth Barker, Elnathan Wood, Betsy Ide, Betsy 
Willson, Esther Hendrick, Olive Badger. These were recognized 
as a church by a council composed of delegates from Ryegate, 
Danville, Coventry and Littleton. July 1, 1812, they ordained as 
their pastor, Silas Davison, who for nineteen years served them 
with utmost faithfulness. At the end of that time. Rev. George 
B. Ide was called to the pastorate and served one year, when Mr. 
Davison again took up the work and supplied the church a year 
and three months. During the nineteen years of his regular 
pastorate, he received into the church one hundred and ninety-five 
members, aside from the sixteen which were gathered by him 
when the church was organized. Of these, one hundred and sixty- 
two were received by baptism. During his pastorate, thirty-one 
were excluded, and forty-four were dismissed to other churches. 

This church, at the first, was called The St. Johnsbury and 
Waterford church. In 1828, the church was reorganized and the 
name changed to The Calvinistic Baptist church of Passumpsic. 
Gradually the word Calvinistic was droj^ped from the name. 

The list of pastors who have served this church, and their 
terms of service, are as follows: Silas Davison, 1812-1832; George 
B. Ide, 1832-1833; J. Merriam, 1833 1836; B. B. Burrows, 1837- 
1841; Levi Smith, 1841-1842; John Ide, 1843-1845; N. E. Smith, 
1847-1849; J. R. Greene, 1849-1852; A. W. Boardman, 1852-1854; 
A. H. House, 1854-1861; A. W. Boardman, 1861-1863; E. Evans, 
1864-1867; S. T. Frost, 1868-1869; J. W. liuzzell, 1871-1874; A. 



322 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

W. Alger, 1875-1883; S. A. Reed, 1883-1885; L. F. Shepardson, 
1886-1887; J. F. Buzzell, 1887-1894; J. D. Skinner, 1894-1898; 
C. D. R. Meacham, 1899-1904; W. F. Basten, 1904-1905; A. S. 
Gilbert, 1905-1910; Archibald Mason, 1910-1912; Lewis W. San- 
ford, 1912. 

The church has had three meeting-houses; the first two were 
built and presented to the church by Deacon John Clark. Of him, 
it is written, in a previous record, " If the Jews could say of one 
ancient, 'He loveth our nation and hath build for us a synagogue, ' " 
this church could say of Deacon Clark, "He loveth our church 
and hath built for us two meeting-houses." In him the church 
found a counsellor, and the world a benefactor. 

Largely through the influence of Rev. N. W. Alger, the 
estate of J. G. Lawrence was left to the church. This gift was 
greatly appreciated, coming from a man who was not identified 
with the church in any way The gift consisted of the present 
parsonage, together with the land belonging to the church and 
parsonage at the present time, some land on the east side of the 
river, and a considerable sum in cash, besides. This valuable gift 
enabled the church to erect its present edifice. 

The church has witnessed several notable revivals. In 1816, 
sixty-eight were received; in 1828, fifty; in 1831, twenty-five; 
in 1832, forty. During Elder Burrows' pastorate, one hundred 
were added to the membership. 

From the beginning, the church has been self-sustaining and a 
liberal contributor to benevolent objects. 

It has sent out many valuable gifts, among which may be 
mentioned Silas Davison, Prosper Davison, Preserved Davison, 
Silas Davison, Jr., Jonathan Aldrich, E. C. Eager, A. Harvey and 
Samuel Graves. 

Irasburg 

Organized in 1816, never became large, and its early history 
has not been preserved. In 1842. they were holding meetings in 
the Court House. Charles R. Kellum was licensed and or- 
dained here, and D. W. Burroughs licensed by them. Jona Bald- 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 323 

win, A. W. Boardman, W. S. Hurlbut and X. C. Hovey held 
pastorates. The church became extinct in 1864. 

Troy 

The Troy church organized in 1818, attained in 1843, a mem- 
bership of one hundred and twenty -two. In 1844, it reported to 
the Association as follows: "Somewhat divided geographically and 
we fear also in heart." In 1850, a new church was organized in 
North Troy, with sixteen members, which has maintained its or- 
ganization and services till now. The name of the Troy church 
drops from the minutes about this time. Church organizations 
were maintained for a time in both North Troy and South Troy, 
sometimes served by the same pastor. 

The following ministers have served the Troy Baptists as 
pastors: J. R. Greene, N. W. Boardman, T. M. Merriam, I. H. 
Campbell, F. N. Jersey, A. J. Walker, A. N. Woodruff, N. Nor- 
cross, P. W. Fuller, J. W. Buzzell, A. J. Chandler, G. H. Parker, 
G. W. Clough, R. H. Carey, J. B. Miner, H. S. McHale, W. F. 
Sturdevant, J. E. Berry and E. W. Puffer. 

Albany 

The little church of nine members, that was organized in 
Albany, September 12, 1832, was supplied by various ministers 
for a limited time. Among them, Moses Flint, Amos Dodge, D. 
W. Burroughs, S. B. Ryder, A. H. Huse and S. A. Fisher; the last 
of whom was ordained with them, March 11, 1841. In 1835, 
twenty-eight were added and in 1839, a number more. H. N. 
Hovey began a j)astorate in 1848, that continued till 1864. In 
1856, the report from the church stated that more than one-sixth 
of the members had removed to Iowa. In 1859, twenty-six were 
added to the membership. From 1864 to 1876, the church was 
served by J. F. Ferguson, A. Norcross, C. Newhall and Wm. 
Bevans. 

In 1877, their meeting-house was leased to the Methodists antl 
not long after\vard sold to them, and stated meetings of the church 



324 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

ceased. The little company of survivors, however, were so loyal 
to the principles of their faith and to the interests of the denomina- 
tion, that they contributed regularly and generously to the State 
Convention and other enterprises, and the name of the church 
apppeared in the list in the Associational minutes till 1910. 

A remarkable bit of Baptist history, is that of this little church 
maintaining its vitality under such circumstances for more than 
thirty years, without public services of their, own, yet interested 
and loyal and helpful in the work of the denomination. 

Burke 

In 1831, six Baptists, in the east part of the town, organized a 
church, which they called a General Baptist church. Rufus 
Godding was ordained its pastor in 1832, and held the position for 
thirty years. Under his ministry, the church attained a member- 
ship of one hundred and seventeen in 1859. During that year, 
twenty-five were added by Baptism, the fruit of a revival. When 
this pastorate closed, in 1862, the church for a time languished 
under discouragements of various kinds. The church was pastor- 
less for several years, when J. W. Buzzell assumed the pastorate, 
and during the year he served, a meeting-house was erected and 
the outlook became more encouraging. 

A. W. Woodruff was pastor during 1872, A. M. Boardman in 
1873, I. F. Heilner in 1879, W. S. Emery in 1881, I. P. Kellogg in 
1884. These short pastorates, with intervals between, failed to 
keep the church. Meetings were discontinued in 1884, and never 
resumed. 

St. Johnsbury 

A church was organized in St. Johnsbury, in 1874, fostered by 
the State Convention, and befriended in special manner by Levi 
K. Fuller, of Brattleboro. A chapel was dedicated, November 
30, 1874, and a deed of the parsonage and the lot, on which both 
parsonage and the chapel stands, given by Mr. Fuller. Rev. E. 
T. Sanford became its first pastor, maintaining that relation for 




O. H. Hexdekson, St. Jolmsbur; 
Auditor of the Convention 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 325 

fourteen years. During this ministry the church attained a 
membership of about one hundred and fifty. Mr. Sanford was 
succeeded, in 1891, l>y Geo. Webster, one year; F. R. Stratton, 
1892; H. M. Douglass, 1894; A. C. Hussey, 1899; C. R. B. Dodge, 
1902; F. S. Tolman, 1908. 

Newport 

Organized in 1817, of tAventy-eight members. Pastors, Har- 
vey Clark, ordained in 1829, five years; Prosper Dav-ison, a part 
of the time one year; W. M. Guilford, part of the time one year; 
Simon Fletcher, one year. 

Before the formation of the church, the people enjoyed a 
number of revivals and the converts joined the church in Coventry. 
One in 1798, one in 1816, which led to the organization of the 
church. In 1824, additions were twenty-two; 1831, twenty-four 
were added; 1834, 1837 and 1841, revivals were enjoyed and the 
church strengthened. In the first revival, Nathan Daggett was 
hopefully converted, and from that time devoted himself for the 
interests of the church. He held meetings for many years, and 
otherwise assisted in maintaining the worship of God. He was 
never ordained, but served as a deacon. Various ministers preached 
to them occasionally, among whom are named. Elders, Rogers, 
Marsh, Perkins, and Churchill, before the formation of the church. 
Then Elders, John Ide, S. Davison, M. Grow, L. Fisher and M. 
Cheney occasionally labored with them. 

In 1859, there was a revival, adding twenty -two by baptism 
and six by letter. A new house of worship was completed in 
Bridge Village, in 1861. 

Under a succession of faithful pastors, the church has developed 
in strength and influence. 

Newport pastors: S. B. Ryder from 1842 to 1853, followed 
by Payson Tyler; W. H. Dean, S. T. Frost, C. V. Nicholson, A. J. 
Wilcox, J. H. Marsh, N. C. Saunders, G. B. Wheeler, J. Freeman, 
W. N. Wilbur, S. B. Nobbs, R. L. Olds, A. L. Wadsworth, C. H. 
Brown, J. J. Williams and H. B. Rankin. 



326 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 



Derby 

Two years after the first church in Derby was dissolved, 
another church of nine meml)ers was organized, and soon after its 
organization was blessed with a revival, which increased its mem- 
bership from nineteen to sixty-seven. Moses Cheney, its first 
pastor, served six years; George B. Ide, Wm. M. Guilford and Noah 
Nichols, followed. Nathan Dennison was ordained, February 24, 
1842, and remained till 1847. After brief pastorates by M. Merri- 
am and J. R. Green, A. Norcross was minister six years, 1850-1856; 
L. Kinney and J. Peacock, one year each; J. G. Lorimer was or- 
dained, October 6, 1861, and remained with them, greatly beloved, 
till 1878. Later pastors; N. C. Saunders, 1878; G. S. Chase, 1881- 
1890; Chas. Gould, 1890; R. L. Olds, 1893-1897; H. S. Kilborn, 
1897; F. D. Luddington, 1902; E. P. Hoyt, 1904; E. M. Holman. 

In the enterprise of founding and sustaining Derby Academy, 
this church took an active and generous part and for a time sus- 
tained an unusual weight of responsibility in connection with the 
school. 

Hardwick 

In 1831, a church was organized with thirty-one members; 
Marvin Grow, pastor, serving till health failed some three years 
later. Aaron Angier was second pastor. The gro\\i:h of the church 
was rapid. In 1839, about thirty were added. In 1841, a meeting- 
house was built, and ninety-two added to the church. In three 
years the church increased from forty members to one hundred and 
thirty -five and became one of the most flourishing churches in 
northern \'ermont. Angler's pastorate closed afcer four years. 
He was a man of remarkable aliility. From Hardwick he removed 
to Middlebury, where he published a paper called the Vermont 
Observer. After a stay of two years, he removed to Poultney 
and thence to T.udlow, where he was associate and leading editor 
of a paper named. The Genius of Liberty — the first paper pub- 
lished in Ludlow. He moved to Cavendish, where he sojourned 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 3^27 

two years and in the spring of 1850, went to Cato, Cayuga County, 
New York, where he Hved three years and accepted an agency for 
the Bible Union, and moved his family to Elbridge, New York. 
This, however, he retained l)ut a year, and in 1854, became pastor 
of the Lamoille Baptist church, Illinois, where he lived for four 
years, when he died on the third of September, 1854, in the forty- 
eighth year of his age. 

Other pastors, who have served the Hardwick church, are 
N. Dennison, W. Cooper, S. Smith, E. Evans, P. Tyler, A. N. 
Woodruff, J. C. Carpenter, J. H. Marsh, A. V. Clark, G. B. Wheel- 
er, H. V. Baker, O. N. Bean and M. S. Tupper. 

By the aid of the State Convention, the church has maintained 
services and filled an important place in the community and 
Association, 



Chapter XIX 

PIONEER AND EARLY CHURCHES IN FRANKLIN 
AND LAMOILLE COUNTIES. 

The first permanent settlement effected in this part of the 
State, was in Colchester, on the banks of the Winooski River, 
near where Winooski village now stands. The first family was 
that of Remember Baker; it consisted of himself, wife and three 
children. He was a joiner and millwright by trade. In connec- 
tion with his cousin, Ira Allen, he was preparing to erect mills at 
Winooski Falls, when the war of the Revolution commenced, and he 
and his family were compelled to flee for safety. He was afterward 
killed by an Indian near St. Johns, C. E. The same year that Mr. 
Baker came to Colchester, Mr. Thomas Chittenden commenced 
settlement near Williston. The next year there was a little open- 
ing made in the forest, and a few log huts erected, in what is now 
the north part of the city of Burlington. About the same time, 
Mr. Isaac Lawrence and family, from Canaan, Connecticut, went 
to Hinesburg, cut down a few trees in the wilderness and built a 
log house. The family for some time lived on "dried pumpkins 
without any other food whatever," and his wife did not see "the 
face of any other woman for ten months." In 1774, Messrs. 
Messenger, Rood and Brown^i commenced a settlement at Jericho. 
Mr. Brown settled on the flats near Underbill, on what is now 
called Brown's River. In the autumn of 1780, the family, com- 
posed of himself, wife, two sons, and one daughter, were surprised 
and made prisoners by a party of Indians. The Indians killed 
the cattle, sheep and hogs, set the house on fire, took their })risouers 
and .started for Montreal. On their arrival at St. Johns, the pris- 
oners were sold to British officers for eight pounds per head. 



330 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

They remained in bondage nearly three years, enduring ahnost 
every variety of hardship. They then returned to Jericho, and 
the sons hved and died on the farm, where they were made 
prisoners. 

The settlements named, were all that were attempted in wliat 
is now the territory of the Lamoille Association, previous to the 
Revolution, and all these were abandoned during the war, so that, 
really, settlements did not commence until after the Revolution. 
Immediately on peace being declared in 178'2, settlements were 
commenced in Burlington, Colchester, Milton, St. Albans and 
Jericho. In 1783, several families located themselves in Essex, 
Hinesburg, Cambridge, Fairfax and Fairfield. In 1784, small 
beginnings were made in Georgia, Westford, Fletcher, Johnson 
and \Yaterbury, and before the close of the next ten years, most of 
the towns had more or less inhabitants. 

As far as is now known, Benjamin and Stephen Holmes, and 
their wives, who came to Georgia in 1788, were the first Baptists 
that settled within the bounds of the Association. 

The first religious meeting held by Baptists, and perhaps 
the first held by any people, was holden in Fairfax, in the spring of 
1790, by Mr. John Crissey, who came from Bath, N. H. 

"In the vigor of manhood he came to Fairfax, when the 
town was an almost unbroken forest, covered with large maple 
and beech timber. He possessed an axe weighing more than seven 
pounds (made for his special use) . With this monster implement, 
wielded by giant arms, the huge trees of the forest fell with aston- 
ishing rapidity. It is related that this man owed Captain Buck 
a day's work. One day, very late in the morning, he made his 
appearance (with his little hatchet) to do a day's work. Mr. 
Buck, a little impatient to thmk that he had not come earlier, said 
to him, 'This is a pretty time of day to commence a day's work.' 
The man simply said, 'Mr. Buck, will you show me where to 
strike in ?' Mr. Buck told him where to go. Relating the incident, 
Mr. Buck said, 'during the remainder of that day from that hill- 
side was heard one continuous roar and crashing of falling timber, 
and at sun-down on that day, forty square rods of those huge 
trees in that forest lay prostrate, all cut up into logs, and the brush 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IX VERMONT 331 

piled.' The Captain said he always felt guilty, when he thought 
how he had chided that man for coming late." 

Says Mr. Way land Shepardson, "I have been told by aged 
people, long ago, that this man, morally, mentally and religiously, 
was just what he was physically. I have often heard my parents 
and others say that in prayer and exhortation he was a marvel. 
He was familiar with the Bible and was a decided Baptist." 

On coming into the settlements and finding no religious meet- 
ing, he appointed meetings on the Sabbath in his own log cabin, 
and invited the neighbors to attend. He conducted the exercises 
himself, would read the Bible, offer prayer and make remarks. 
His son was the only singer. After reading the hymn, Mr. Crissey 
would line it, according to the custom of the day. When he had 
read his hymn, the son, a very tall man, would rise, fold his hands, 
close his eyes, and when his father had repeated two lines, he would 
sing them, and so through the hymn. In this humble manner, 
public worship was here commenced. These meetings were con- 
tinued until the Baptist church in Fairfax was organized in Septem- 
ber, 1792. 

The Second church was organized in Georgia, October 27, 1793. 
Rev. Henry Green, of Wallingford, Rev. Isaac Beals, of Caledonia, 
and Joseph Randall, of Wallingford, were present at the council 
and took ])art in the exercises. Joseph Call was moderator. The 
council was held in the house of Abraham Hathaway. 

The church in Bolton, afterwards i-i\\\Qd\\\e Richmond church, 
was organized in 1794. The churches in Westford, Cambridge, Fair- 
field, and Essex, probably soon after. 

The church in St. Armand, C. E., was constituted in 1799; 
the church in Waterbury, 1800; the church in Hinesburg, 1810; 
the church in Colchester in 1816. 

The first Baptist minister in this section was Rev. Joseph 
Call, an itinerant preacher, whose family resided in Woodstock, 
which was then the center of Baptist operations in that part of the 
State. In the fall of 1789, he is reported as pastor of the Wood- 
stock church. In one of his missionars' journeys northward, about 
1790, he stopped at the house of ]Mr. Ezra Butler in Waterbury, 
for a night's lodging, as he was wont to do, and became instrumental 



332 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

in the conversion of Mr. Butler, whom he subsequently baptized. 
Mr. Butler afterward became a Baptist preacher and the Governor 
of the State. About 1791, Mr. Call preached in Cambridge, Fair- 
fax, Fairfield, Georgia and Milton. In the early part of 1793, 
probably in the month of January, he removed his family from 
Woodstock to Cambridge and preached for a time to a church 
composed of Congregationalists and Baptists. While pastor here 
he still engaged in missionary tours and during one of these, August, 
1794, was the first to administer baptism in Bristol, and at that 
time gathered a Baptist church there, which still exists. In 1797, 
he was installed pastor of the Baptist church in Fairfax. On the 
records of the Fairfield church, his name appears as late as 1812. 
He was an able preacher, a pious and devoted man. 

The second minister that labored in this field was Rosivell 
Mears. He was born in Goshen, Conn., April 16, 1772; in 1782, 
his father and family removed to Poultney, Vt. In October, 
1792, he left Poultney and came to Milton. The whole region 
was then but little else than one vast wilderness, with here and 
there a little opening. In most of the to^\^ls, a little beginning had 
been made and a few log huts erected; and these rude settlements 
were to be found by following marked trees or foot paths. Ros- 
well Mears was a young man of deep piety and fine talent, and 
for some time previous to his leaving Poultney, he had felt it his 
duty to preach the Gospel. But, having never received as much as 
a common school education, he shrunk from the responsibility, 
and came to this new country with the hope that these impressions 
might pass away. But on reaching these new settlements, he was 
frequently asked to preach, and to use his own words, he says, 
"after remaining some days, and finding that there was but one 
minister of any denomination wathin fifty miles, I finally yielded 
to the request of the peoj^le. " His first regular appointment to 
preach was at Cambridge. He took his hymn-liook and Bible, 
his whole library, left Mr. Mallary's, in Milton, on foot, and by 
aid of marked trees he found his way to Mr. Stejjhen Kingsley's, 
in Cambridge. The meeting in Cambridge was in the south part of 
the town, on the hill some two miles south of Cambridge Borough, 
in a little log hut. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 333 

He was at this time about nineteen years of age and wore a 
sailor jacket and trousers. He preached his first sermon from the 
words, "Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?" The 
next day he preached in the east part of the town. At the close 
of the evening service, several of the brethren collected in a room 
by themselves, and agreed to say to him, they believed him called 
to preach. And there in a private room, in the deej), dark forest, 
Mr. Mears, at the hands of a few lay brethren, received his first 
license to preach among men. At that time, all the professors of 
religion in Cambridge were either Baptists or Congregationalists, 
and as there were but ^-ery few, they had united in one church. 
Soon after this they separated and formed two churches. In the 
fall and early part of the winter of 179'2, Mr. Mears preached with 
great success in Bolton, Cambridge, Johnson and Williston. Dur- 
ing the winter he preached; visited Poultney; preached before the 
church, and received his license in due form, and returned to 
Cambridge. Becoming satisfied that he had never been baptized, 
and feeling it to be a duty binding upon him, he was baptized in 
Cambridge, by Rev. Joseph Call, in April, and united with the 
Baptist church in Fairfax, that being the only Baptist church in 
existence in this region. 

Concerning these early meetings of Elder Mears, Elder Sal)in, 
in his Recollections written in 1860, in his eighty-seventh year, 
says, "I have heard several old persons speak of the meetings that 
he held in their log cabins, crowded as full of people as they could 
be crammed. It would seem that evevy person was anxious for 
the salvation of his soul, and as Father Bucar said, 'It seemed as 
if the foundation of the cabin was shaken.' " 

On Tuesday, the second day in January, he was ordained in 
Fairfax. In February, 1796, he removed to Groton, N. H. Dur- 
ing the four years that he labored in this section, he preached in 
Cambridge, Jericho, Waterbury, Bolton, Fairfax, Fairfield, Georgia, 
Milton, Richmond and Williston, and perhaps it is not too much 
to say, that he did more toward laying the foundation of the Baj)- 
tist churches in this section than any other minister that ever 
preached here. 



334 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

In 1807, Mears removed from New Hampshire to Georgia, Vt., 
and took the pastoral care of the church, which position he re- 
tained till 1825, when he resigned, and was succeeded by Rev. 
Alvah Sabin. After his resignation, he still remained in Georgia, 
preaching as his health would allow, to the church in Georgia in the 
absence of their pastor, and to destitute churches in the vicinity. 
On the twenty-fifth of December, 1855, he departed this life, in the 
triumjjhs of faith. Father Mears was sociable and agreeable in 
his manners, he was an excellent singer, and an able preacher and 
eminently qualified to do good. He entered upon the ministry 
without education, but he had a refined taste and a strong memory. 
He was studious in his habits, scholarly in his appearance and 
really became quite a scholar. He acquired a thorough knowledge 
of English, and obtained also some insight into the Greek and 
Hebrew. He also obtained some knowledge of the sciences and 
became better educated than many who have obtained a college 
diploma. 

The personal recollections of Elder Mears' grandchildren 
give us a vivid picture of this remarkable man in his old age. Mrs. 
Anna Sabin Darwin writes, "My earliest recollections of my 
Grandfather Mears, are of how" he looked as he stood under the 
pulpit in the 'Old White Meeting-house' at Georgia Center. I 
remember how white he was, his face and lips and hair like snow, — 
his garments, nicely fitting and black. I had great reverence for 
him, a feeling almost of awe. I was very little acquainted with 
him, and it was hard to realize that he was my sainted mother's 
beloved father. My father, who preached then, always called on 
him to make some remarks and offer the closing prayer. I thought 
they were very long. I thought sometimes that he criticised my 
father's sermons, but I know my father bore his criticisms with 
gratitude, for he had great confidence in his wisdom. Grandfather 
and grandmother seemed very contented and happy in their two 
small rooms. I did not like very well to go into their rooms, for 
as soon as we were seated around the fire])lacc, grandpa questioned 
us upon passages of Scripture and always asked me to pray. He 
was very fond of music. When Mr. Sterritt taught singing school 
in (Jeorgia, he had nearly all of the singers in liis class. They 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 335 

learned many fine and difficult anthems, which grandfather 
greatly enjoj-ed. He enjoyed specially an alto solo that Katie 
Holmes used to sing. I can hear it now and see her as she looked 
in that high gallery, and grandpa, as he stood between the carved 
pillars, almost transported by the inspiring notes. 

"He used to make chairs to help out on his small salary. 
I remember a large green one, made from a hollow tree, and sta- 
tioned under a spreading willow, where he used to sit and read and 
write. He A\Tote several tracts, and one upon baptism. He felt 
A'ery badly when father went to Congress. He thought it was 
too wicked a place for a Gospel minister, forgetting that when the 
righteous rule, the people rejoice." 

Another grand-daughter, Mrs. H. I. Parker, says, "One thing 
al)out grandpa impressed itself upon me so that I have never 
forgotten it, his great desire to have young christians know what 
the passages they read and committed 1o memory meant, and 
this made me dread to call on him, as he would invariably ask me 
some questions about this, not so much of my own experience as a 
christian, but what the Bible taught about certain things in our 
lives. He seemed rather critical to us then, but now I know it 
was because he loved us and was so interested in our christian 
lives, and not because he was fault-finding." 

An aged aunt, who used to live in Elder Sabin's family, 
writes: "His salary mi^ist have been small. A brother minister 
once called, near their dinner hour. Though he did not see how a 
suitable meal could be prepared, he invited his guest to his study. 
When dinner was served it was nuich better than he expected. 
There was a nice ])latter of fresh meat and other things to go with 
it. When the guest was gone, his wife told him she did not know 
who brought it. A boy rode up and handed it to her and left with- 
out speaking. They regarded it as a special providence." 

The fir.st minister ordained within the hmits of the Lamoille 
Association was Elisha Andrews. He came from the state of 
New York to Fairfax, in Januarj% 1793, a few months after Elder 
Mears came to Milton. He was ordained at Fairfax, October 3, 
1703. The services were held in the open air, about two miles 
north of the village, near the house long oA\nied by Deacon Silas 



336 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

Safford, and where he died. Between his house and the barn was 
a flat rock on which the speakers stood. There in the open air, on 
this flat rock, beside the log cabin, in the midst of a vast wilderness, 
the first man in this region was set apart by solemn prayer and 
the laying on of hands to the great work of the christian ministry. 

The day was fine. The new settlers gathered from a great 
distance, the ser^'ices were solemn and im{)ressive. The great 
Master was there to witness the scene, and to the few faint and 
trembling disciples, he might have said, "Fear not, for on this rock 
I will plant my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against 
it." The salary was provided for the first year in the following 
manner : Deacon Thurston engaged to board Mr. Andrews and his 
wife; the other members of the church agreed to raise for him five 
dollars to purchase books and for spending money, and also to 
furnish wool and flax suflficient for their clothing, and his wife 
was to spin and weave it. By some strange over-sight, this ar- 
rangement made no provision for the hat or the boots; the result 
was that before the year closed, they had become the worse for 
wear, and one of his boots and one of his shoes failed; therefore he 
often preached with a boot on one foot and a shoe on the other. 

Mr. Andrews contmued to preach in Fairfax till the winter of 
1795, when he removed to Hopkinton, N. H. Thence, after four 
or five years, he removed to Templeton, Mass., the field of his 
widest influence. After his settlement in Templeton he became a 
member of the Ley den Association. In this manner, many of the 
churches of Windham County had the benefit of his wise counsels 
and rich experience. He continued to preach to destitute churches 
in his vicinity, till near the close of his life. An attack of paralysis 
in January, 1833, deprived him of the use of his right hand and, 
although sixty -three years of age, he learned to write legibly with 
his left hand. He preached little after this. His last labors were 
given to the church in Royalton, Mass. February 3, 1840, he 
passed to his res:. 

In personal appearance he was about middle height, thick set, 
without any marked peculiarity. He might have been called a 
grave man, but his intimate friends always found him sociable and 
communicative. He enjoyed good health and had uncommon ca- 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 337 

pacity for labor and power of endurance. His taste for reading and 
habits of study he maintained through hfe, by means of which he 
obtained an amount of information and secured a degree of culture 
not attained by many college graduates. Besides attaining no 
inconsiderable proficiency in Latin, Greek and Hebrew, he could 
read German with ease and was well versed in theological lore. 

He never seemed to care much about his dress or personal 
appearance or even the conventional rules of life. Without anj'- 
thing of studied refinement, he had still a natural grace that made 
him sufficiently at home in any circle. He was not prodigal of 
words, but he used them with great care and often with great 
power. Nothing ever escaped his lips that involved the slightest 
departure from justice or delicacy. He received the honorary 
degree of Master of Arts from Browni University, in 1803. 

Mr. Andrews was well knowni not only as a preacher, but also 
as a vigorous writer, chiefly in his own denomination in defense of 
their faith. The following is a list of his publications: "The Moral 
Tendencies of Universalism, " "Winchester's Dialogues on Uni- 
versal Restoration," "A Vindication of the distinguishmg senti- 
ments of the Baptist against the writing of Messrs. Cowles, Miller 
and Edwards." These were all issued from the press of Manning 
& Loring, of Boston, a searly as 1805. In 1810, he published 
"A Brief Reply to James Bickerstaff's Short Epistle to the Bap- 
tists." At a later period, "A Review of one of John Wesley's 
tracts on falling from Grace." In 18'-23, "Strictures on the Rev. 
Mr. lirooks' Essaj' on Terms of Communion." He contributed 
many articles to the Christian Watchman, chiefly on the Unitarian 
controversy, over the signature of " Gimel. " He prepared for the 
press a "Bil)le Dictionaiy, " also a work entitled "Racovius" or 
the Rational Christians, containing dialogues on the Unitarian 
controversy, but they were not published. 

This latter work was submitted by the author to a commictee 
on circular letter, at the meeting of the Leyden Association, in 
Wilmington, Vt., 1820, and the committee's report was adopted 
and is as follows: "Your committee have examined a work written 
by Brother Elisha Andrews, entitled 'Racovius, containing dia- 
logues upon the Unitarian Controversy, ' so far as the opportunity 



338 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

would ])ermit, and we are satisfied that it is well worthy the patron- 
age of the Association." 

In 1805, Elder Ames T utile was chosen pastor of the Fairfax 
church upon a salary of two hundred dollars, to be paid in good 
merchantable produce; to be paid annually by the first day in 
January. The pay was to be raised by subscription, but if it 
could not be by subscription, to be raised on the polls and estates 
of the society. Deacon Wilkins protested against the plan of 
raising salary by a tax, and the church, in 1809, after deliberation, 
passed the following: "Having examined the situation of the 
church as a standing society, formed on the civil law, it was their 
opinion that the church come off this ground, as easy a way as 
possible, and the church pay the Elder Tuttle two hundred dollars 
per year in the following articles; namely, twenty dollars worth 
of beef, five dollars worth of tallow, fifteen dollars worth of rye, 
ten dollars \\orth of wool, twenty-five dollars worth of wheat, 
ten dollars worth of flax. The remainder to be paid in arti- 
cles most convenient for the church." 

In 1811, the church, upon the ground that it was not able to 
fulfill their contract with Elder Tuttle, as to his support, dismissed 
him from office work in the church. Troublous times followed, 
but the church survived them and was built up for its long and 
useful career. 

Few of the early pioneers have left any detailed account of 
their experiences, traveling in the wilderness, and making a home 
in the new settlements. The following authentic account of the 
experiences of Rev. Amos Tuttle is doubtless typical and for that 
reason has si)ecial historical value. 

Elder Amos Tuttle 
By his son, Capt. David Tuttle 

Elder Amos Tuttle was born in Southbury, Ct., October 31, 
1761; was married to Rachel T. Jones, June 16, 178'-2; lost a large 
part of his property soon after his marriage through the rascality 
of a man in high life, and, in 1788, engaged in the l)oot and shoe 
business in the towni of Washington, Ct. He was at that time a 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 339 

noted infidel, and strong in argument; but .soon, although there 
was no religious excitement in the neighborhood, his attention 
became powerfully attracted to the subject of personal religion. 
He began to attend pul)lic worship in an adjoining town of Xew 
Preston; experienced a change of heart, and connected himself 
with the Baptist church in New Preston, of which Rev. Isaac 
Root was pastor. Soon after this he prepared himself to preach 
the Gospel, and was settled over a church in Litchfield, Ct. 

Rev. Mr. Root about this time moved to Danville, Vt., and 
was settled over the First Baptist church there. Returning to 
Connecticut for a visit, he called upon Mr. Tuttle and ga\'e him 
such a description of the beauty and fertility of Northern Vermont, 
that notwithstanding the urgent invitation of another friend 
calling him to western New York, Mr. Tuttle concluded to visit 
Vermont the next season. Accordingly, in June, ITO-l, he came to 
Danville and thence to Walden, Hardwick, Greensboro and Crafts- 
bury; became acquainted with the inhabitants, and found a church 
could be organized from the four last towns, the majority of the 
members living in Hardwick. A church was formed. Mr. Tuttle 
was called to settle, as minister of the toMni, and accepted. 

In the month of October, 1795, he started with his family 
from Litchfield for Hardwick. Such a journey in those days was 
a great undertaking. They were fifteen daj's on the way, but 
meeting with no more serious accident than the breaking of a 
wagon, they arrived at Gilman's, in Walden, during the night of 
the 31st of October, in the midst of a hard rain storm. Beds 
were soon taken from the wagon and placed upon the floor of the 
little l)ark-co^•ered log house, and our cold immigrants lay downi to 
rest. There was not a pane of glass about the house and so no 
sign of day appeared until the door was opened in the morning. 
Then day appeared indeed, and with it, to the great surprise of all, 
appeared a white mantle of snow, covering the ground to a depth 
of at least fifteen inches. A messenger was sent to Hardwick, 
requesting the friends of the family to send teams to bring them 
on their journey. Three sleds with wild steers were sent. Two 
of them were loaded with the goods and the third was fitted up 
with boxes for seats and plenty of straw, to carry the sick, and 



340 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

weeping mother and children. Mr. David Tuttle, who was then a 
boy says, "As we reached the bottom of the awful hill by which 
the Hazen road descends to the Lamiolle River, the sleds stopped, 
that the bridge might be repaired. I saw my mother, brother 
and little sisters, all in tears, and shall never forget the expression 
of anguish with which my mother said, 'Dear husband, where are 
you taking me. I shall die and what will become of the children. ' 
It sobered me for the rest of that day and brings tears to my eyes 
now in my old age as I relate it." 

They turned off of the Hazen road near where L. H. Delano 
now resides, followed a narrow sled path, which wound through 
the woods, crossed the Tuttle brook at a place above where the 
road now crosses, ascended the steep bank by doubling the teams 
and passed through the burnt slash to the house of Mark Morris. 

The journey being thus safely over, the next care of our 
pioneer pastor was to find a house for his family. There was an 
empty log shanty to be had, but it was much out of repair. Mr. 
Tuttle was strong and healthy, however, and with the aid of 
friends, he succeeded by the middle of November in making it 
habitable. There was, to be sure, neither windows nor cupboards, 
nor chimney, and the hut itself was only twelve feet by fifteen, 
but he cut some holes through the logs and pasted oiled paper 
over them for windows, and the smoke found its own way upward. 

A successful hunt on snow shoes on the West Hill, in which 
three moose were killed by his party, provided the family with 
meat for a time. He was so fortunate also as to procure a bushel 
of salt of a peddler by paying five dollars in cash. The price of salt 
must have risen higher still, or else money must have become 
scarce, for next year he paid six bushels of wheat for one of salt, 
and this in preference to paying three dollars in cash. 

After thus providing for the creature comforts, the next 
question seems to have been how to get about his parish. His 
gumption soon found a way. A "Tom Pung" as he called it, 
was hewed out and put together with pins and rods, and the 
pieces of rope, which had been used as binders on the journey, he 
made into a harness, sufficient at least to fasten the horse to the 
pung and to guide him through the woods. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 341 

The town of Hardwick was organized on March 31, 1795. In 
April, 1796, the town met and \'oted to unite Avith the Baptist 
church in settHng Mr. Tuttle, as the minister of the town. He 
was installed in June, following. The people being poor, it was 
agreed that he should receive no salary during the first four years. 
By a provision of the town charter, however, he was entitled to draw 
three lots of land, as the first minister of the town. One of these 
lots he sold for a little money and a little wheat, to be paid in four 
instalments. 

Soon after his installation he went to work to clear a piece of 
land and build himself a log house. By the middle of November, 
he completed the work, and in just one year from the time when 
the family first huddled themselves into the little hut, they moved 
into the largest and best log house in the town, thirty -two feet by 
fifteen. The Sabbath worship was held in this house during the 
winter months and in barns in different parts of the town during 
the summer. 

The course of church life in Hardwick was not smooth. The 
church became divided, much to the grief of Mr. Tuttle. He con- 
tinued to preach in the town to a Congregational church for a time, 
and, in 1806, accepted a call to the church in Fairfax. That was a 
year of grace to that church, sixty -five being received by baptism. 
This pastorate continued till 1811. After this Mr. Tuttle labored 
as an evangelist, visiting most of the towns in Vermont, and many 
of the townships bordering on the line in Canada. During this 
time he made his home in Hardwick, but afterward removed 
again to Fairfax, where he remained till the death of his wife, 
when he returned to Hardwick to spend the remainder of his days 
with his son, in the same house which his oAvn hands had built in 
the vigor of his early manhood. 

He died in February, 1833, aged seventy -two years. 



Chapter XX 

THE RICHMOND, FAIRFIELD, ONION RIVER AND 
LAMOILLE ASSOCIATIONS 



The first church to make a definite proposition and to take 
steps to test the question, whether the churches in this part of the 
State were ready to unite in an association, was the Richmond 
church. On the time-stained record of this mother church, under 
date of August 23, 1795, is the foUowing minute : 

"Voted: That Elder Wihnarth write letters in the name of the 
church to the different churches to have them send delegates to 
this place, to see if we can 't form into an association. " 

"October 3, 1795, the church voted that Elder Wihnarth, 
Deacon Everts and Brother John Page, be delegates to represent 
the church in the convention to see if we can't form into an as- 
sociation. " August 19, 1796, the church made choice of Deacon 
Everts, and Brother Hulburt, to attend the Association at Cam- 
bridge, to be holden on Wednesday, the 30th of August, instant. 

The decision of the Convention was that it was possible and 
desirable to form into an assoc-iation. Whether they limited their 
work to the settlement of the question they were invited to con- 
sider, and the fixing on a time for the first meeting of the pro])osed 
association, or immediately organized and adopted a constitution 
and held a meeting of an associational order, we do not know. The 
fact that the name, Richmond Conference, was chosen, and the 
tradition that Richmond was the place of the organization of the 
body, favor the first supposition. If .so, 1795 is the l)irth year, and 
Richmond, the birth-place of the A.ssociation. If, as is possible, 
they simply came to an understanding, and made an appointment 
for an association to be held the following year, 1796 is the l)irth- 



344 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

year, and Cambridge the place where the Richmond Conference, 
or Association, was organized. 

The churches represented in this first association were: 
Fairfax, Cambridge, Richmond, Essex and Westford. 

The years immediately following the organization of the As- 
sociation were fruitful ones. Revivals occurred in several places. 
The Association grew rapidly by the accession of new churches. 
In 1804, there ^\ere enrolled fifteen churches, with a member- 
ship of six hundred and thirteen. In 1810, there were seventeen 
churches and eight hundred and ten members. These churches 
were Richmond, Fairfax, Essex, Cambridge, Westford, Swanton, 
Johnson, Richford, Fairfield, Addison, Berkshire, Georgia, Sutton, 
Hatley and Stanstead, Derby, St. Armand and Stanbridge. 

Early pastors in the Association were men of ability. Among 
them were: Elisha Andrews, Joseph Call, Roswell Mears, William 
Marsh, Stephen Holmes, Amos Tuttle, Ezra Butler, David Boyn- 
ton, Isaac Sawyer, Jesse and Samuel Smith, Samuel Churchill, 
Moses Wares, and Roswell Smith. Among the laymen, were the 
Cresseys of Fairfax, Deacon Andrews of Richmond, in whose barn 
the Association met in 1805, Deacon David Campbell of Swanton, 
Deacon David Churchill of Fairfield, and Nathaniel Blood of 
Essex. As a prince among the laymen, was one of fine physicjue 
and gentlemanly bearing, a close listener and of few words, but 
whose words, when uttered, were of unusual clearness and elegance, 
a fine presiding officer of remarkable judicial and executive ability, 
— J. D. Farnsworth, long known since as Judge Farnsworth. 
These were some of the fathers of this Association. 

On the I'^th of June, 1812, war was declared between the 
United Stales and Great Britain. The Association had been ap- 
pointed to meet that year at Stanbridge, Canada. As the time 
approached, the brethren began to inquire, with no little solicitude, 
whether it would be safe to cross the border for that purpose. 
They corresponded with the Canadian brethren. The loving rela- 
tion between the churches was not in the least strained, but on the 
whole, it was deemed more prudent not to go. Instead, the 
churches on this side of the line met at the time appointed, the third 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 345 

Wednesday in September, in Fairfield. Fourteen churches were 
represented: Richmond, Georgia, Westford, Berkshire, Cambridge, 
Swanton, Essex and Jericho, Fairfax, Fairfield, Enosl)urg, Milton, 
and Morristown. The latter church united at this time. A new 
Association was organized under the name of the Fairfield Associa- 
tion, adopting the constitution, articles of faith, rules of decorum, 
and general regulations of the Richmond Association. 

During the years from 1812 to 1834, fourteen new churches 
were organized: Morristown, Milton, Colchester, Fletcher, Jericho, 
Montgomery Center, North Fairfax, Sterling, North Fairfield, 
Enosburg Falls, Williston, Huntington, Stanbridge and Burlington. 

In 1834, the Association included twenty-six churches, with a 
membership of one thousand, five hundred and ninety-one. The 
territory was large and the delegates were sometimes compelled 
to travel from fifty to seventy-five miles to attend the meetings 
of the Association. On this account alone, it was thought advisable 
to divide the Association. This was done. The Lamoille River 
was made the dividing line. The northern part retained the name 
of The Fairfield Association, the southern took the name of The 
Onion River Association. 

The Fairfield branch met at Fairfield. Three new churches 
were received : Montgomery, Dunham, and Lapraire, bringing the 
number of churches to fifteen, with nine pastors. 

The spiritual condition of these churches was for a time dis- 
couragingly low. Additions by baptism were few. In 1838, but 
one baptism was reported in the whole Association. The year fol- 
lowing, there w^ere one hundred and sixty; the^next, one hundred 
and two; and in 1843, there were one hundred and fifty -one 
baptisms. 

The Onion River branch was organized at Waterbury, and 
was composed of seventeen churches, mostly in Chittenden 
county. These were: Jericho, Essex, Richmond, Johnson, Cam- 
bridge, Morristown, Hinesburg, Sterling, Williston, Milton, Hunt- 
ington, Waterbury, Westford, Waitsfield, Burlington and C^ol- 
chester. It had eleven ministers and about nine hundred and 
forty members. These churches reported each year a fair numl)er 
of baptisms, especially the years, 1840, 184'-2 and 1843, when the 



346 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

numbers were respectixely, one hundred and thirteen, sixty-six, 
and one hundred and twelve. 

In their minutes of 1843, is one item of melancholy interest, 
announcing the extinction of the Richmond church, whose efforts, 
in 1795, resulted in the organization of the Association. 

Judging from the minutes alone, one would suppose that the 
old Fairfield Association had peacefully divided, and that each 
branch was growing independently and content with the change. 
But one who was an attendant upon these meetings, tells us that 
the result of the division was that the whole old Association met 
at both places, and neither could be satisfied, unless all were to- 
gether, and this state of things continued, with little or no abate- 
ment, until 1844, when a resolution was adopted by both associa- 
tions, at the suggestion of the Onion River Association, that they 
reunite on their common constitution, and that the name Lamoille 
Association, be adopted. Elder Sabin says that the reason for re- 
uniting the two associations was, "first, they could not get apart; 
and second, when they were all together, it made a large assembly 
and a good variety of gifts, and ministers and brethren from abroad 
could afford to visit us, and the churches that entertained the As- 
sociation preferred that there should be a good congregation at 
their place, and it encouraged their own brethren to see so many 
who were sustammg the same banner of Jesus with themselves. 
Then, in our societies, formed in connection with the Association, 
a parallel advantage was gained." The union of the two Associa- 
tions was effected in September, 1847. Then began the history of 
the Lamoille Association. 

When the Association took the name of The Lamoille Associa- 
tion, it consisted of twenty-seven churches, namely: Burlington, 
Cambridge, Colchester, Essex, Enosburg, Enosburg Falls, West 
Enosburg, North Fairfax, South Fairfax, North Fairfield, South 
Fairfield, East Fairfield, Fletcher, Georgia, Huntington, Hines- 
burg, Jericho,2nd Jericho, Johnson, Milton, Montgomery, Swanton, 
Waitsfield, Waterbury, Westford, Williston. The pastors were: 
M. G. Hodge, J. C. Bryant, L. A. Dunn, I. Huntley, M. N. 
Stearns, A. Sabin, D. Sabin, Wm. S. Hurlburt, I. I. Cressey, 
J. P. Hall, J. Morrain, R. A. Hodge, J. Cressey. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 347 

Of these churches, nine have l^ecome extinct. Meanwhile, 
others have been organized and weak ones have put on strength. 
BurHnglon, for many years a weak and struggling interest, has 
come to a position of commanding influence. The Richford, built 
out of the ruins of earlier organizations, has lived. The St. 
Albans has come into existence, the Essex Junction, also, and East 
Franklin. 

One of the oldest churches had a noteworthy resurrection. 

The Westf ord church had the appearance of a dead church . 
Its services were discontinued, its meeting-house was closed, and 
the weeds had grown high between the stones about the door. 
But one day a little company of five, four of them members of one 
family, came to the house praying that it might be opened. For 
a time it seemed doubtful if they could obtain the key. Mean- 
while, one of the sisters pulled the weeds about the door, and then 
knelt upon the threshold, and prayed that the door might be 
opened, and had the assurance that it would be. The key was 
l)rought and the little company entered and prayed that God 
would awaken the remnant of the church and send someone to 
lead it as a shepherd. The prayers were soon answered. Rev. 
Thomas Tellier was soon secured; the church quickened; the house 
opened and renovated; a parsonage and horse sheds built, and the 
church strengthened in numbers and resources. 

From 1852, for fifteen years, the New Hampton Institute ex- 
erted a powerful influence over the Association. Its professors and 
students were ready to do any service, anywhere it was needed. 
They went oui holding meetings in schoolhouses and supplying 
destitute churches, gi^•ing evidence of their consecration and ability. 
Among these faithful helpers of the churches these names are 
worthy of record: L. B. Steele, Peter Frenyear, L. B. Barker, 
D. C. Bixl)y, A. S. Gilbert, J. G. Lorimer, wl G. Schofield, P. C 
Abby, President E. B. Smith, and Dr. James U])hain. 

The rise and declhie of the French churches of Montgomery, 
Enosburg, and Richford, and the French Mission in Burlington, 
make an interesting chapter in the history of this Association. 

The Civil war, from 1861 to 18(5.5, caused these churches much 
anxiety and suffering. In 1864, the Fairfax church reported: 



S48 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

"We have sent one hundred and three, including students and 
transient hearers, to the battle field, thirteen church members. 
Nine members, thirteen in the congregation and seventeen m the 
army, have died during the year." 

In common with the other associations, this suffered from dis- 
ciplinary trials — The Washington Temperance Society, Free- 
masonry, Millerism, Davidsonism, Truarism, and so forth. 

Counteracting these came gracious revivals. In 1815 and 
1816, Georgia enjoyed a great revival and sixty were added, among 
them, four young men, who afterward became ministers. These 
were Alvah Sabin, Daniel Sabin, Joseph Ballard, and Paul 
Richards. 

The Vermont Baptist State Convention rendered noble ser- 
vice, in this then destitute field, sending here: Marvin Grow, 
Harvey Clark, John Ide, Wm. Arthur, and Ezra Fisher. In 
1830, John Ide was sent to Richford. He found the church in 
difficulty, and after preaching Saturdaj^ evening and three times 
Sunday, he met the church on Monday at 12 o'clock, and continued 
the meeting till two o'clock the next morning, and had the hap- 
piness of seeing every trial removed and peace and harmony re- 
stored. 

The year 1823, was marked by a discussion, growing out of a 
proposition by the Northwestern Congregational Union to the 
Fairfield Association, for a conference upon the expediency of 
forming a union l^etween the Congregational and Baptist denomi- 
nations, in the vicinity of the two associations. The full account 
of this conference is printed in the minutes of the Association and 
in the Missionary Magazhie, and is a notable bit of denominational 
history. 

This Association, like the others, while not assuming authority 
over any of the churches, has claimed and exercised the right to 
decide for itself what churches shall be eligible to membership, 
and to be a counsellor to the churches within its bounds. In 
1803, a committee was appointed to labor wiJi the Cambridge 
church, and the church refused to hear the Association. The 
Association, at the next session, withdrew the hand of fellowship. 
It is probable that this action had salutary effect, as shortly after, 
the name of the church is found in the list as usual. In 1809, 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 349 

upon recjiiest of the Westford church, the Association advised them 
to call a council, and the advice was followed, and the church con- 
tinued in the fellowship of the Association. In 1813, a committee 
was appointed to look into the situation at Berkshire, and to in- 
quire after the character of their former pastor. The inquiry re- 
sulted in finding the current charges against the minister unfounded. 
In 1818, the church in Morristown excluded their pastor. The 
Association instituted inquiry and reported, justifying the action 
of the church, and took steps to warn another Association against 
the unworthy minister. 

The church in Colchester was visited in 1840, and the Rich- 
mond church m 1841. In 1842, the church in Fletcher did not 
report to the Association, and by verbal report it was learned that 
the cause was "internal commotion." A committee was at once 
appointed to visit and advise the church. 

The latest action of the Association in this line, was in 1889, 
when the St. Albans church was advised by the aid of itself, or a 
council, to investigate current reports affecting the moral character 
of their recent pastor. The church followed the ad\ice g"i\"en. 

As a natural outgrowth of this mutual interest of the churches 
in each other and of the power of the Association to assist the 
weak, it soon took the character of a missionary organization. 
Plans were laid as early as 1804, that the pastors of the As- 
sociation might spend all their time preaching to all the churches. 
In 1818, the Association appointed a committee of five, who were 
instructed to form themselves into a board for soliciting and rais- 
ing money, and other proi)erty, for the purpose of employing one 
or more Gospel ministers in destitute places within the Association 
and elsewhere. It obtained for a time the services of Elder Eph- 
raim Sawyer, whom Elder Sabiu described as "a man of limited 
education, but with a thorough knowledge of human iiature, and 
a large acquaintance with all classes of men, and a correct knowl- 
edge of the IJible, and a consistent theory of religion. " It also em- 
ployed in 18'24, Elder Phineas Culver, and at another time. Elder 
Isaac Sawyer. It sometimes estal)lished circuits by which destitute 
churches were supplied. Since the organization of the State Cou- 
vention. it has worked tlirongli it and in harmony with it to help 
the weaker chnrches. 



350 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

The Association responded to the call that was voiced by 
Luther Rice, in 1814, for help on the foreign field. Agents were ap- 
pointed to collect funds and a board was formed to dispose of the 
contributions. 

In 1825, a Missionary Society was organized in the Associa- 
tion, collectors appointed in every church, and four agents ap- 
pointed to convey their collections to the treasurer of the Associa- 
tion. In 1824, the Association organized a Tract Society, which 
did not prove as useful as expected and was discontinued in 1836. 
In 1852, the Lamoille Sabbath School Union was organized to 
promote that important agency for the upbuilding of the churches. 
After the Vermont Branch of the Northern Baptist Education 
Society was merged as a department of the Vermont Baptist State 
Convention in 1843, the brethren of this Association organized 
the Lamoille Education Society, which for several years was able 
to assist two or three young men in their studies. The New Hamp- 
ton Institution, and the Northern Educational Union, in its support, 
were in close relation with this Association, being within its bounds, 
and especially helpful to Its churches. 

Another feature of the benevolent work of the Association has 
been the care of its destitute ministers. In 1827, the Association 
contributed to the family of Ephraim Sawyer, at the time of his 
sickness and death. Elder Luther Cole, when mfirm a 'id destitute, 
was aided by a contribution, annually, from 1866, till his death in 
1871. Annual collections continued to be taken and a fund ac- 
cumulated, amounting to $280.43, which in 1888, was transferred 
to the Ministers " Aid Society of AVrmont. 

Statistics 

Lamoille Association 1847-1912 

Baptisms 4,329 

Received by Letter 2,076 

Received by Res. and Ex 418 

Dismissed 2,552 

Died. 1,735 

Excluded and Dro])ped 1,349 

Benevolent (\Mitributions $108,137.00 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 351 



Onion River Association 

The life of the Onion River Association was so brief that the 
story of it may be told somewhat in detail. The decision to divide 
the Fairfield Association and form the new one was very delib- 
erately taken, after careful consideration, bj' a large committee, 
at a special session held in Fairfax, the second Wednesday in No- 
vember, 1834. 

The first meeting of the new Association was held in Water- 
bury, the first Wednesday in September, 1835. The churches 
which composed it, were in the towns of Essex, Jericho, Richmond, 
Cambridge, Westford, Mo^risto^^^l, Hinesburg, Williston, Milton, 
Waterbury, Hmitinglon, and Sterling. The churches were favored 
with the labors of nine pastors and contained nine hundred 
and twenty-seven members. 

During the first year, the little church in Sterling, which had 
numbered but six members, received twenty-three by baptism. 
This was the bright spot in the Association, the rest appearing to 
be depressed. But thirty-three were received by baptism in the 
whole Association and twenty -four by letter. 

The resolutions passed at this session were upon temperance 
moral reform, ministerial education and world wide missions. 

The second session was held in Johnson. The churches in 
Westford, Waitsfield and Colchester, had received fifty-five V)y 
baptism. There were additions to the Association of eighty -seven 
by baptism and thirty-seven by letter. 

The third session was at Hines})urg. The Middlesex church 
joined it (afterward uniting with the Waitsfield church). Additions, 
twenty-one by baptism; twenty-six by letter. 

The fourth session was in Waitsfield. The year had been un- 
marked by any special interest. 

The next year at Colchester, the Association held a most en- 
couraging and i)leasant session. Almost half the churches had 
enjoyed revivals; one hundred and ninety-seven had been baptized 
and twenty -four added by letter. The membership of the Associa- 
tion had reached one thousand, sixtv-six. 



352 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

The sixth and last session was held at Westford in 1840. At 
the time of this session, the state of religion was low in the churches, 
owing to the waves of public excitement, which in quick succession 
were affecting the people. This feeling, however, had not char- 
acterized the whole year, which had been more fruitful than most 
years, one hundred and thirteen having been added by baptism, 
and forty -five by letter, bringing the membership up to one thou- 
sand, one hundred and seventy -four. 

The churches in this body, in 1840, were generally poor; more 
than half of them were destitute of preaching. Only three churches 
were favored with preaching all the time. The fifteen churches 
had but seven to break to them the Bread of Life. They resolved 
to reunite with the other churches, from which they had separated, 
and form the Lamoille Association. 

Timothy Spaulding was one of the first laborers in this As- 
sociation. He was a man of superior talents, humble and faithful, 
and zealous. He removed from this part of the country and went 
West, and there, as in the churches of New England, he plead the 
cause of the oppressed, and when every sanctuaiy was closed against 
him, and no suitable place was opened to him, where he could advo- 
cate the inalienable rights of the down-trodden of our land, like 
his Saviour and like the early heralds of the Cross, he showed the 
people their transgressions in the open fields. Not being inured 
to the hardships of this nature, he soon sickened and died. 

The zeal with which he worked and the pathetic circumstances 
of his death, enshrined his name with peculiar sanctity in the mem- 
ory of the Baptists of this Association and of the churches of Ver- 
mont, generally. 



Chapter XXI 
CHURCHES OF THE LAMOILLE ASSOCIATION 

Fairfax 

The first Baptist meeting in Fairfax was probably held in 
June, 1790, conducted by Deacon John Cressey, and from this time 
up to September, 1792, a few brethren and sisters met occasionally 
to worship, in a log house, about a mile from the village, now known 
as the Safford neighborhood. In September, 1792, the first Bap- 
tist church in Fairfax was organized, consisting of twenty -five mem- 
bers, among them, John Cressey, Martha Cressey, Eunice Barrett, 
Shaloma Squires, Subriette Heart, Joseph Call, Stephen Churchill, 
Naomi Cressey, Luther Cressey. 

October 3, 1793, was the first ordination in Fairfax. Elisha 
Andrews was ordained pastor. The salary agreed upon, was board 
and clothes for himself and wife and five dollars for books. Mr. 
Andrews' work continued but one year. After him, came a Gospel 
worker, going from house to house, stirring the people up spiritually. 
That young man was Ephraim Butler, who afterward became a 
minister and preached the Gospel for more than fifty years. 

The church was incorporated on October 25, 1797. At the 
first meeting of the society, Rev. Amos Tuttle was called to the 
pastorate, and it was voted to give him one piece of land worth 
$400, as a settlement, and $200 as salary, to be paid yearly in good 
merchantal)le produce. Mr. Tuttle was installed August 6, 1806. 
That year was a glorious one for Fairfax. Sixty -five were received 
to membership by baptism. The years 1807-1816, were a dark 
period. Most of the time in the meetings was taken up in dis- 
ciplmary inquiry and action. Even the pastor was called to 
account for speaking j)ublicly, in a manner that implicated his 
rulers. 

In 1809, Deacon Wilkins refused to commune with the church 
because the minister was settled on civil law, and his salary raised 



354 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

by tax on the estimated property of the members. The church 
came off that ground as speedily as possible. Agreement was 
made with Elder Tuttle that he should receive $200 in the follow- 
ing articles: $20 worth of pork; $15 worth of beef; $5 worth of 
tallow; $15 worth of rye; $10 worth of wool; $25 worth of wheat; 
$10 worth of flax. The remainder to be paid in articles most con- 
venient for the church. Later it was found impossible to keep this 
agreement and Elder Tuttle was dismissed. The next trial came 
from John Cressey, complaining that some of the members had 
joined the Washingtonian Temperance Society, a secret organiza- 
tion. The outcome was the exclusion of ten members, who were 
afterward recalled, the church confessing that it had not acted in a 
spirit of brotherly love. In 1816, an interesting revival was en- 
joyed and twenty-four were baptized. Elder Tuttle became 
pastor again in 1817, after an absence of five years, during which 
the church had been without a pastor. 

In 1820, a controversy began as to the \'alidity of baptism, 
if performed liy any but a Baptist minister in regular membership 
in a Baptist church. The controversy was hot and long, resulting 
in the withdrawal of thirty members, including the pastor, who 
was afterward excluded liy the church. Various efforts at recon- 
ciliation were made, which finally succeeded, and a great revival 
followed. 

From the time of Elder Tuttle \s withdrawal, 1820 to 18.S0, 
the church had preaching only occasionally, by Ephraim Butler 
and Roswell Mears. In 1830, Jeremiah Hall was chosen pastor, 
and he proved a peacemaker. Mr. J. C. Bryant, a licentiate, sup- 
plied a few months in 1832. In 1833, there was an interesting dis- 
cussion upon the subject of Freemasonry, and that secret order 
was denounced and renounced. 

The Sunday school was organized in 1833, and for many years 
a prayer meeting was sustained once a month in place of the Sun- 
day school lesson. In 1837, Rev. Simon Fletcher was hired for 
one year. In October, 1839, Rca'. C. W. Hodge commenced a 
series of meetings, which resulted, in the course of ten weeks, in the 
reception of thirty-one by baptism. Mr. Hodges became pastor 
and served two years. In 1841, a parsonage was purchased. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT S55 

April 23, 1843, Rev. Lewin A. Dunn was engaged as pastor, half 
the time for six months. Thus began a pastorate which con- 
tinued twenty-eight years. In 1846, a new^ church edifice was built. 
Elder Dunn acting as engineer and overseer. 

An incident connected with the building of this house is of 
special interest. The necessity of a new house of worship had be- 
come so impressed upon the mind of Mr. Dunn that he decided, 
if this could not be done, his work with this church would soon 
cease. It was decided that if suitable stone for the basement could 
be obtained, the house would l)e built. Several efforts were made 
to obtain the stone, which proved unsuccessful, and the matter of 
building the new church began to look shady. One more effort 
was to be made. If a certain rock or ledge could be broken suc- 
cessfully, the stone could be obtained and the house built. This 
would decide whether Elder Dunn w'as to remain longer as pastor 
of the church. Elder Dunn, with Osias Story, a mason, went forth 
to test this last plan. The holes were drilled, the wedges driven, 
but the rock was not broken. The young pastor went a little dis- 
tance from the rock and sat down, heartsick and discouraged. 
His work appeared to lie done. But at length, a slight snapping 
sound was heard in the direction of the rock. He went back to it. 
The rock was broken its entire length. His sorrow was turned into 
joy. The little church seemed insj^ired with new life and energy. 

The edifice was completed in 1849. Supplication was then 
made for revival influences, and soon a revival began, in w^hich men 
and women and children were converted, and the power of the 
Spirit was manifested as never in this place before. In 1850, there 
were fifty-nine additions by baptism and fourteen by letter. In 
1851, the house was enlarged. During the years 1850 to 1860, 
inclusive, one hundred and seventy-two were baptized, and seventy- 
four received by letter, the membership increasing from one hun- 
dred and twenty-seven to two hundred and eighty-eight. This 
period includes the time when New Hampton Institution was 
Hourisliing, and the students constituted a largo part of the mem- 
l)ership, and the church was heartily at work for the conversion of 
the students. In the period, 18()1 to 1871, inclusive, tiie acce.s.sions 
by baptism were one hundred and twenty-nin(>, and by letter, 



356 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

twenty-nine; the membership attaining its maximum number, of 
three hundred and forty-six. The influence of the church and its 
pastor, through the student body of New Hampton Institution, 
became very strong and wide. In the fall of 1870, Rev. H. G. 
DeWitt commenced a protracted meeting with the church, con- 
tinuing several weeks. Thirty -six were brought to Christ and were 
baptized; four were received by letter. 

In the fall of 1871, Elder Dunn closed his labors as pastor here, 
having been pastor here twenty -seven years and six months. He 
baptized, while here, three hundred and fifty ; three successive years 
he represented his town in the State legislature. He went from 
Fairfax to become President of Pella University. In 1861, and 
again in 1878, he visited Europe, Egypt and Palestine, and pub- 
lished the story of his travels in a book entitled, "Footprints of the 
Redeemer." His name will long be held in remembrance in the 
community and in the State, where he did such a commendable 
work. 

Rev. Jabes Ferris supplied for six months; then, for about six 
months, the church was without a pastor. In October, Rev. J. L. 
Webber became pastor and remained two years. These are re- 
ferred to as dark days. Indeed, for the next decade, the accessions 
were very few, the losses by dismission and revision of the roll 
many, and the membership rapidly diminished from three hundred 
and sixteen in 1875, to one hundred and thirty-six in 1885. The 
pastors during this period were: De F. Safford, 1875-1876; G. W. 
Bower, 1878; W. G. Goucher, 1880-1883; C. A. Votey, 1883-1887. 
Mr. Safford, and the church with him, were afflicted by the death 
of his wife, during his short stay. Mr. Bowers was a man of fine 
ability, but in feeble health, and soon after his work closed in Fair- 
fax, his life work ended. W. G. Goucher was a fine sermonizer, 
an ardent Baptist, and always wore his Baptist armour and kept 
it bright by constant use, and whenever he used it, he drew blood. 
So said one, who knew him well. C. A. Votey was a man of evan- 
gehstic zeal and had the privilege of welcoming twelve by baptism. 

In 1885, the church edifice was thoroughly repaired and reno- 
vated at a cost of over $3,000. 

Rev. Henry Crocker became pastor in June, 1887, and con- 
tinued in that relation till the spring of 1899. These were years of 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 357 

normal church hfe and work marked by some noteworthy incidents. 

On July 15, 1888, Dr. Dunn was prei^ent with his loved people, 
after an absence of seventeen years, and gave a short address, full 
of tender allusions to the past and of suggestions for the future. 

Four months later came the news of the sudden death of this 
beloved pastor. His body was brought to Fairfax for burial in the 
cemetery, which he himself was instrumental in having consecrated 
as a public burial place. Special services were held, in which both 
the pastor and some friends from Pella took part. 

In 1893, the centennial year of the church was signalized by a 
series of sermons at intervals, by representatives of the several 
missionary and philanthropic organizations, and by special com- 
memorative exercises, September 27. These exercises were at- 
tended by large numbers of former members and former students 
of New Hampton Institution, and were very impressive and in- 
spiring. The State Convention was held here the three days fol- 
lowing. In this period a company of promising young people came 
up from childhood into young manhood and womanhood, and 
entered upon courses of study, or upon their life work. Among 
them were Rolla Hunt, now pastor of the Baptist church in Shel- 
burne Falls. Mass., and another, A. F. Ufford, now missionary in 
China. 

It was in this period that the buildings of old New Hampton 
Institution were burned, and this somewhat melancholy reminder 
of the glory of departed days was removed from sight. A smaller, 
new school building stands in its place, which is the rallying place 
of the Green Mountain Summer Institute. 

The next pastor was Rev. O. R. Hunt, 1900-1905, who wel- 
comed twelve l)y baptism, and was an energetic pastor. He was 
followed by Rev. A. Frank Ufford, a member of the church, 
brought up from infancy under its influence. Mr. Ufford had con- 
secrated himself to the foreign mission work and these years were 
pending his api)ointment. This was a brief but ideal pastorate, 
marked by the baptism of fifteen converts. Mr. Ufford was 
ordained here. 

The next i)astor was Rev. C. E. VanSchaick, well-known as the 
State Colporteur, for a season. He remained two years and was 
followed 1)V Rev. W. S. Hoardman. 



358 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

This history would be incomplete without the mention of the 
important place given to the service of song, and the name of 
Deacon Francis Wayland Shepardson, who for sixty-four years 
has l)een chorister. 

Georgia 

In 1788, Benjamin and Stephen Holmes, and their waves, were 
the first Baptists that settled in Georgia, Vt. In 1791, Rev. Joseph 
Call, an evangelist, came from New Hampshire. He preached in 
Cambridge, Fairfax, Fairfield, Georgia and Milton. He was the 
first Baptist minister that preached in this region. July 12, 1793, 
marks the date of the first Baptist meeting in Georgia. It was held 
in Abraham Hathaway 's house, for the purpose of gaining fellow- 
ship, forming articles of faith, and adopting rules of order. A 
council was called October 21, 1793, and a church regularly con- 
stituted. The region was then little less than a wilderness. There 
is no record of their having a pastor. When the first meeting- 
house was to be built in Georgia, the majority of the inhabitants 
wished it to be built and the minister supported by a town tax. 
This the Baptists resisted. The meeting-house was built in 1800, 
by subscription. In 1807, the Baptists claimed the use of this house 
a portion of the time. This was resisted by the Congregationalists, 
but finally a compromise was agreed upon and each used the house 
in proportion to the amount of interes^t of the members of the re- 
spective churches. 

In 1807, Roswell Mears was called to the pastorate. In 1808, 
Benjamin Holmes ard Ephraim Lewis were chosen and ordained 
as deacons. Deacon Holmes represented the town ten years in the 
State legislature. He held many important trusts. He and his 
wife were well-known for their benevolence. During the winter of 
1815 and 1816, the church enjoyed a powerful revival. Sixty were 
added to the church. Of this number, were four young men who 
afterward became ministers, viz.: Alvah Sabin, Daniel Sabin, 
Josei)h Ballard, and Paul Richards. In 1818, Elder R. Mears be- 
.gan preaching one-half of the time in Swanton and continued liis 
labors there twelve years. While he was pastor, there was much 




Ri:\ . Al\ AH Saiun 

Member of Inited States Congress 183o— 18;J7 

Pastor of Georgia Plain Paptist duirch 18^5—1857 

Horn, 17f):5— Died. 1HS5 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS INVERMONT 359 

church discipHne and many trials. Ont^ burning question was 
whether a person called to j)reach should spend time in attending 
a theological seminary, previous to preaching the (iospel. Because 
Alvah Sabin spent some time in preparatory study, several brethren 
left the church. Alvah Sabin was born in Georgia, Octol>er 20, 
1793. He was converted in early youth, but neglected to put on 
Christ in baptism till February, 1815 or 1816, when he was bap- 
tized with fourteen others in the Lamoille River, the ice being cut 
away for the purpose. In 1817, A. Sabin preached before the 
church and received a license. He spent some time in preparatory 
study and having proclaimed the Gospel in all the region round- 
about, in 1825, commenced preaching in Georgia half the time. In 
the meeting-house in Georgia, such a thing as a stove or furnace was 
a thing unknown, except the hand-foot stoves that the matrons 
brought from home filled with live coals. In 1826, the church 
paid to have the schoolhouse, which was being built, have an upper 
room. Many meetings of interest were held in that upi)er room. 
In October, 1831, H. H. Hale, John Bowker, and Truman 
^^'illiaIns, were ordained deacons and became towers of strength, 
financially and spiritually. In 1834, Elder Sabin served the State 
Convention as agent. Elder R. Mears took his place for one year; 
Elder N. H. Downs, one year, and R. Mears the year following, 
then A. Sabin resumed his work again as pastor. In 1846, the 
church voted to build a brick church in the southwest part of the 
town. The same was dedicated February 2, 1848. The following 
year quite a number were converted and baptized. In 1852, Elder 
Sabin was elected to represent the second district of \'ermont in the 
United States Congress. He was absent four years, except during 
the summer months. In his absence. Rev. Eli B. Smith, D. D., 
was a most accei)table supply. Several valuable additions were 
made to the church during those four years. Upon his return from 
Washington, Elder Sabin was often called upon to comfort those 
that mourned the loss of friends ujxmi the battlefield. In 1868. 
Re\'. Rufus Smith assumed the i)astoral care of the church and 
during the two years and three months of his stay, the Sunday 
school was reorganized and several united \v\ih the church. In 
April, Elder Sabin assumed the pa.storate. He did not feel him- 



360 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

self physically able to perform much pastoral labor, yet his gray 
hairs and well-known voice were a blessing to those who attended 
the meetings. During the summer and fall of 1876, the old par- 
sonage was sold and a new one erected, at a cost of between $1,400 
and $1,500. 

Rev. J. G. Lorimer became pastor in December, 1876. Not 
long after his settlement, three brethren, who had been the main 
leaders of the church for at least a half century, were called to their 
reward and rest — H. H. Hale, who had filled the office of deacon 
for forty-seven years, a man gifted in prayer, genial, benevolent 
and highly respected; Alfred Ladd, a deacon in the church thirty- 
three years, a man of financial ability and devoted to the interests 
of the church; and Elder Alvah Sabin, a man of ability, recog- 
nized not only by the church but throughout the State. 

October, 1826, the Baptist meeting-house in Georgia was 
burned. A new one was promptly erected at a cost of $6,235. 
The new house was dedicated October 25, 1887. Rev. Henry 
Crocker, of Fairfax, delivered the sermon from Psalm 122 : 1 . There 
was a debt of $1,430. This was provided for on the day of the 
dedication. October 25th was a red letter day for the church. 

Mr. Lorimer served the church with ability, fidelity and love, 
for twenty -five years, cheerful under discouragement, a lover of 
young people, the companion and friend of the aged, a genuine 
under shepherd, beloved of all his people. 

Failing health compelled him to give up his pastoral work in 
1902. He spent the sunset days of his life among the people he 
had so long served and ])assed to his rest. December 21, 1911. 
Joseph Gibbs Lorimer was born in Beebe Plain, P. Q., February 
4, 1833. He was ordained to the Gospel ministry by the church 
in Derby, Vt., in June, 1861, and served this church as pastor six- 
teen years. On September 30, 1862, he was married to Miss 
Almira Hale of Georgia, Vermont. In 1877, he moved to Georgia 
Plain and began his second pastorate, which lasted twenty-five 
years. While he gave up his pastorate in 1902, almost to the end 
of his life he was in truest sense a minister at large. It was his 
to win many to Christ and the church. He baptized three of his 
nephews, who later became clergymen: Rev. Addison B. Lorimer, 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 361 

Rev. Albert W. Lorimer and Rev. E. I. Nye. Mrs. Lorimer died 
June 11, 1811. While deeply interested in the home field, both 
Mr. and Mrs. Lorimer were very much interested in State, home 
and foreign missions. By industry and economy they saved con- 
siderable money and at their death bequests were made to the 
Georgia Plain church, the Vermont Baptist State Convention, 
the Woman's Baptist Home Mission Society and the Woman's 
Baptist Foreign Mission Society, $500 each. 

Rev. Thomas Adams succeeded Mr. Lorimer as pastor, 1903, 
continuing till 1908, when Rev. L. L. Holmes succeeded him, serv- 
ing till 1911, when J. R. Thomas became pastor. 

Cambridge 

April 2, 1793, eleven persons, whose homes were in Cambridge 
and Johnson, met at the house of Robert Cochran, m Cambridge, 
related their christian experience, were baptized and covenanted 
together to walk in the ordinances of Chrisc's house. On the 10th 
of July, 1793, a council convened to ordain Robert Cochran to the 
office of deacon, examined its articles of faith and recognized this 
body as a regular Baptist church and shortly after it became a 
member of the Woodstock Association. 

The materials of which this church was composed, were the 
fruit of a work of grace which commenced in this vicinity in the 
summer of 1792. The commencement of this work is to be cred- 
ited CO two earnest christians, Amos Page, and Ichabod Warren, 
who noting the destitute condition of the place and the indifference 
of the people to the interests of souls, became deeply affected and 
resolved to appoint a conference meeting for the ])urpose of calling 
the attention of their neighbors to the great subject of religion. 
In their first meeting two persons l)ecame seriously interested and 
were soon converted. Thus encouraged, they continued their 
meetings, which increased in interest and solemnity, till a general 
seriou.sness prevailed. Al)out this time Roswell Mears came, full 
of faith and holy zeal, and under his influence and preaching many 
were led to Christ, until seventy or eighty were giving evidence 
of conversion. 



362 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

Then came Joseph Call, who was present at their organization 
into a church, and became their first pastor. This church continued 
to maintain its organization till 1801, when diminished in numbers 
and discouraged by difficulties, it was disbanded. Four years 
later, however, a new organization was formed which lived a few 
years. 

SWANTON 

On the 12th of March, 1796, brethren, delegates from the 
churches of Fairfax and Caldwell's Manor, met in Swanton, and 
were organized as a council, and after deliberation, recognized as 
a Baptist church, the following persons: Joshua Calkins, Thomas 
Brow^l, Thomas Armes, Daniel Rowley, Caleb Calkins, David 
Campbell, Mercy Calkins, Elizabeth Calkins, Martha Armes, 
Deborah Adams, Deborah Campbell. David Campbell and his 
Avife lived in St. Albans, the others were residents of Swanton. 

In July, they appointed delegates to the Richmond conference 
and at this time probably united with that body. 

In January, 1798, Thomas Brown was ordained and became 
pastor, serving two years. He appears to have been one of the 
first settlers of the town, which was organized but six years before 
the organization of the church, and it is supposed that all who were 
first constituted into a church, were previously members of Bap- 
tist churches. 

From June to August 25th, there were received into the 
church forty members, the fruit of a revival, the first the to^^^l ex- 
perienced. It appears that one young woman dreamed of having 
much trouble to keep clear of the devil, who was continually fol- 
lowing her wherever she went, and she saw no possibility, however 
untiring her efforts, to escape him, but concluded that his she must 
be. After troubling herself about her dream for some time, she 
finally disclosed it to a christian neighbor, who observed that she 
wished all would manifest as much zeal and diligence in keeping 
out of the hands of the devil. 

At length, the young woman was led to lay hold on the hope 
set before her in the Gospel, when she felt herself free from the power 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 363 

of the devil. She commenced exhorting her companions, and the 
result was that the meetings became more interesting and soon the 
intelligence was spread through the town that a revival of religion 
was in that neighborhood and people came to see what a revival 
was, and the result was that the interest spread through the whole 
town. 

East S wanton 

In 1802, David Hurlbut was ordained evangelist. In 1803, 
a Baptist society was formed. At the time, application was made 
to the town for the privilege of holding a Baptist society meeting 
on east road, to choose a moderator, society clerk, and other officers. 
The meeting was held and a Baptist society organized by choice 
of John Baker, moderator; Wm. Green, clerk; Stephen Robinson, 
treasurer; Israel Robinson, collector; Joshua Calkins, Wm. Green, 
John Baker, committee; Asa Green, Isaac Lackey, and Otis Free- 
man, assessors. (1st To\ati Book p. 119). Several of these were 
not members of the church, some of them Congregationalists, 
there being no Congregational church near. This organization 
continued for many years. Preaching was supported on the grand 
list. After a few months' service by Josiah Orcutt, Jesse Smith 
commenced preaching to the church and was settled as pastor in 
1804. Josiah Orcutt was again employed and continued to sui)ply 
the pulpit from 1808 to 1811 or 1812, soon after which he died. 
In 1814, Elder Phineas Culver began to serve as pastor. Revivals 
attended his work. Under his faithful ministry the church at- 
tained its largest membership. On April 7th, of that year, a large 
number were baptized; among them Francis W. Emmons, about 
sixteen years of age. Fifty years afterward he returned, an or- 
dained minister, preached a good sermon and gave a short history 
of his life. Between this and 1820, in connection AAith the Con- 
gregationalists, they built a meeting-house, and shortly afterward 
Elder Roswell Mears was emj)loyed as pastor, continuing his work 
four or five years. In 1830, Elder Culver again supplied them, 
alternating with Roswell Mears, and twenty-one were received 
that year by baptism. In this year they denounced and renounced 



364 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

Freemasonry. Elder Daniel Sabin was pastor from 1836 till 1846. 
In 1840, protracted meetings were held, assisted by Elder Baldwin, 
and about thirty were added to the church. The old meeting- 
house falling to decay, a new one was built and dedicated January 1, 
1850. J. Cressey was pastor, 1848-1849; P.C. Hines, 1851-1854. 
During most of 1854, they were supplied by students from Fairfax. 
Geo. H. Bixby was pastor five years, 1855-1860; and welcomed at 
least fifty members. A season of depression followed. During 
the years, 1861, 1862, 1863, they had no pastor; J. G. Lorimer and 
F. E. Osburn, then students at Fairfax, supplied. 

In 1865, H. C. Leavitt was settled, a parsonage purchased and 
prospects brightened. This pastorate ended October 1, 1867. 
A. S. Gilbert, ordained June 30, 1870, served till April, 1873. 
From April, 1873-1875, A. L. Arms supplied. June 23, 1875, 
W. M. Mayhew was ordained. He remained till April, 1876. 
Rev. J. A. Johnson, from St. Albans, supplied for a time. G. A. 
Arms, 1877-1878. Beginning 1879, P. S. McKillop served. He 
was assisted, in 1880, by John Corrie and some fifty were converted, 
twenty-seven baptized. G. A. Wilkins served 1882-1884. All 
hearts were saddened by the death of his wiie in 1883. 

The church has been without a pastor since then, but has 
been supplied much of the time by the pastors from St. Albans. 
Mrs. Clara Powell was their spiritual leader in 1911, and the mem- 
bership was twenty -four. 

Westford 

In the spiring of 1798, Rev. Jedediah Hebbard, of New Hamp- 
shire, found in Westford a little group of Baptists, who were like 
sheep in the wilderness, needing the shepherd 's care. This he gave 
them, preaching as often as opportunity offered. Other preachers 
came to his assistance and soon a congregation was gathered, of reg- 
ular attendants upon the word. On the 23d of December, the 
Baptist church of Westford was organized with eleven members. 
Their names were: Deacon Isaac Chase, Deacon Uriel Stewart, 
Jonathan Chase, Reuben Smith, Lebeus Burdick, Jonas Hobart, 
Josiah Ingersoll, William Weaver, Levi Famsworth, Avary Bur- 
dick and Truman Chase. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 365 

The church was not favored with steady preaching until about 
three years after, when Rev. Thomas Brown moved into town and 
continued three years, after which Ephraim Butler was pastor for 
several years. In the year 1809, twenty were added, principally 
l)y baptism. Soon after this ingathering, a difficulty arose relative 
to their choice of a pastor, the church was divided, and both parties 
sent delegates to the next Association, claiming to be the Westford 
Baptist church. A council, called for the purpose of adjusting the 
difficulty, and a committee from the Association, both decided that 
Isaac Chase, Jacob Eastman, Reuben Burdick, Timothy Burdick, 
Jonathan Chase and others, who agreed with them, were in order 
and on Gospel ground and advised the other party to confess their 
fault and renew their covenant with the others. This they were 
unwilling to do and maintained separate services for a time and 
then became extinct as an organization. 

The war of 1812, and the cold year of 1816, caused much suf- 
fering. These things made the people feel their need of divine 
help and comfort. Their fidelity in attendance upon the means of 
grace is illustrated l)y the follo\Aing incident from the life of Rev. 
Alvah Sabin, p. 53 : "Deacon Jonas Holiart lived about four miles 
from the place of M^orship, and the road lay over a small mountain. 
His father and mother lived in a house near him. They were both 
over se\'enty years of age, but were uniformly at meeting. They 
made the journey in this way. One of them would take the horse 
and ride to the top of the hill while the other walked. Then the 
one who had ridden would hitch the horse and go down the hill on 
foot. The one who had walked up the hill would ride doA\Ti. 
-Vfter church they reversed the order and so went home. " 

Some of the early records arc lost and so a full history cannot 
be written, but two ministers are mentioned in the records before 
Elder Sabin. These were Rev. Thomas Brown and Re\-. I'hineas 
Culver. Alvah Sabin 's pastorate began in 18'21. On tiic -2J)th 
of April, that year, some ten or twelve Baptists, who lived in a 
part of the t(n\ai some distance from the plac-e of meeting, ])resented 
their letters and were received, adding not only nuinl)ers l)ut sub- 
stantial strength to the church. About the same time, some who 
had l)ecn disfcllowsliijji'd canic with confessions of fault and were 



366 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

restored to membership. The church felt their need of some more 
convenient place of worship, and applied to the Congregational 
church for the privilege of holding meetings in the town meeting- 
house, (toward the cost of which the Baptists had contributed,) 
on Sundays, when it was not Otherwise occupied. The answer 
given was that the Baptists could have the use of the meeting- 
house when it was unoccupied, except on Sundays. The manifest 
injustice of this action awakened for the Baptists a measure of 
popular sympathy, and they were enabled with the cooperation of 
the Methodists, to erect another meeting-house, facing the green 
opposite the old meeting-house. An extensive revival began in 
1824 and Elder Sabin baptized between fifty and sixty, and the 
Methodists as many more. Elder Sabin continued his pastoral work 
al)Out seven years. Meanwhile, the society, duly incorporated, 
had purchased five acres of land conveniently near the meeting- 
house and erected a parsonage and barn at a cost of about $1250, 
which was raised by subscription, except $450, the avails of their 
proportion of the ministerial rights in land reserved for this purpose. 

Jeremiah Hall was next pastor, ordained February 1, 1831. 
It was his happy lot to lead this people during the remarkable 
revival of 1831. In the short pastorate of less than three years, 
Mr. Hall welcomed thirty-eight to the church, mostly by baptism. 

Isaiah Huntley, of Duxbury, commenced preaching here in the 
fall of 1832 and continued four and a half years. During that 
time, thirty-six were added to the church. In June, 1837, James 
M. Beeman, of Fairfax, was ordained pastor and served four years. 
These were trying years. In 1840, there were one hundred and 
forty members. In September, 1840, William Miller, of New York, 
began to lecture in Westford. As a result of his preaching, the Bap- 
tist church lost nearly half of its members. 

For a while, previous to 1886, the church was in a discouraged 
condition. Then came Rev. Thomas Tellier, first as a home mis- 
sionary and then as pastor, and for seven years he put his life into 
this field and the results were wonderful. The people responded 
to his hopefulness and courage, and co<)i)erated with him in efforts 
for material improvement and equally for spiritual improvement, 
the membership doubled, the church was rej)aired, sheds built. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN \^RMONT 367 

parsonage built, and the church greatly encouraged and strength- 
ened. The Methodists had for many years united with the Bap- 
tists in worship, but about 1892 they repaired their own house of 
worship and began holding meetings by themselves. Mr. Tellier's 
l)astorate closed, September, 1893. Among the .strong support- 
ers of the church were Henry Woodruff and R. M. Huntley, for 
many years church clerk, and Mrs. R. M. Huntley, a member for 
more than sixty years, and Deacon George Huntley. Mr. James. 
Conlon came to this country from Ireland when sixteen years old. 
His father and mother died of cholera during the voyage, leaving 
a family of children to enter, as strangers, a strange land. Mr. Con- 
lon fought in the Rebellion of Canada, in 1837-1838. He served 
in the Mexican war in 1847-1848; and in the Civil war, 1864-1865. 
He endowed the church with $200, the interest of which is to be 
used for the preaching of the Gospel. E. Hatfield was pastor, 1894- 
1896. E. P. Lyon was ordained pastor, May 24, 1896. 

Having omitted the names of some of the pastors in the fore- 
going account, we give here the full list of pastors in the order of 
their service: 

Thomas BrowTi, Phineas Culver, Alvah Sabin, 1821-1828; 
Jeremiah Hall, 1828-1831; Isaiah Huntley, 1832-1837; J. M. Bee- 
man, 1837-1841; Chester Ingraham, 1841; O. W. Babcock, R. D 
Hodge, T. C. Morley, 1855-1857; J. Ferguson, 1857-1859; C. D 
Fuller, 1860-1861; Nehemiah Pierce, 1862-1864; M. Howard, 1866 
G. W. Arms, 1867-1871; A. A. Davis, M. L. Fox, 1875-1876 
DeForest Safford, 1877-1883; T. Tellier, 1886-1893; E. Hatfield 
1894-1896; E. P. Lyon, 1896-1897; H. M. Hopkinson, 1899-1907 
S. H. Chambers, 1908-1909; G. L. Cook, 1910; F. S. Leathers, 1911 

The membership in 1912 was thirty-four. The attendants, 
were somewhat widely scattered and the Sunday school sustained 
a home department of one hundred or more members. 

Essex Center 

The first Baptist church in Essex, Vt., was organized with six 
members November, 1801, as a branch of the Wesiford church. The 
constituent members were Uriel Stewart, Joshua liates. Peter 



3D» HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

Hubbard, Gardner Bullard, Thomas Fulsom, and Mehitable 
Bates. The branch became an independent church, January 16, 
1802. The first baptism into the mission was WiUiam Ingraham, 
wife and daughter, November 14, 1801. WiUiam Ingraham was 
the father of Chester Ingraham, who was pastor of the church 
seventeen years. The church has had twenty-four different pastors. 
Two were called to a second pastorate. Their names are David 
Hurlbut, Ephraim Butler, David Boynton, Thomas Ravlin, Rob- 
ert Hastings, Chester Ingraham, Lyman Smith, M. G. Hodge, 
Isaiah Huntley, vS. S. Kingsley, Jacob Gray, Holmes Chipman, 
Albert McGloughlin, Charles Coon, James A. Johnson, J. F. 
Ferguson, J. A. Leavitt, Irving W. Coombs, William Gussman, 
Richard Bradshaw, A. N. Woodruff, J. T. Buzzell, P. C. Abbey, 
N. W. Woolcott. 

The following were ordained while pastor of this church: 
David Hurlbut, Ephraim Butler, Thomas Ravlin, Robert Hastings, 
Chester Ingraham, Jacob Gray, Albert McGloughlin, James A. 
Johnson, Richard Bradshaw. When without pastor, Isaiah Hunt- 
ley, Chester Ingraham, P. C. Abbey, Thomas Telher, and Richard 
Nott, have acted as supplies. David Hurlbut was the first ordained 
and settled minister in the town of Essex. Prominent mention is 
due Chester Ingraham. Born in Essex, born again and baptized 
into the church, afterwards ordained and served the church for 
seventeen years as pastor. He always resided in Essex, but sup- 
plied churches in other parts of the State. 

The church has enjoyed several extensive revivals. 

In 1816, during the short pastorate of David Boynton, there 
was quite an ingathering. Ten were baptized in one day. In 
1821, when the church was without a pastor, thirty were added to 
the church by baptism. Again in 1839-1840, following the lec- 
tures of William Miller, and during the pastorate of Chester In- 
graham, fifty were added to the church, fortj^-two by baptism. 
In 1842, during the pastorate of Lyman Smith, forty -one were bap- 
tized. In 1842, one hundred and thirty-seven members were re- 
ported to the Association. During the pastorate of David Gray, 
1856 to 1858, as the result of a revival, thirty-four were added to 
the church by baptism. In 1874, another revival, the most gen- 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 369 

eral through the town since 1840, Rev. J. F. Ferguson was assisted 
l)y Rev. E. A. Whittier, the evangehst, and nearly a hundred in the 
town experienced hope in Christ and twenty united with this 
church. During ninety-five years of its history, four hundred and 
seventy persons were received, or an average of nearly five annually. 
The first meeting-house was commenced in 18*21, and com- 
pleted in 1827 or 1828, at a cost of $1,600. In 1839, this was de- 
stroyed by fire, and in 1840, another was built at a cost of $2,000. 
The present house was thoroughly remodelled in 1867-1868, at a 
cost of $3,000. From this church have been dismissed brothers 
and sisters to form the Baptist church in Jericho, and many more 
who have become reliable and efficient members of other churches. 

South Fairfield 

The town of Fairfield began to be settled about the year 1789. 
Among the first comers were several Baptists, viz.: Andrew Brad- 
ley, John Leach and wife, Abram Northrop, and Hon. J. D. Farns- 
worth. These, together with a few Congregationalists, commenced 
holding meetings on Sundays in a barn. They enjoyed no preach- 
ing save as they were occasionally visited by some missionary, till 
1796, when Rev. Ezra Wilmarth cast in his lot with them and 
preached two or three years. His work w^as abundantly blessed. 
About the close of the year 1900, an interesting revival occurred 
and for a time they were supplied by Elder Jedediah Hebbard, 
Joseph Marsh and Ephraim Sawyer. The result of this revival 
was the organizing of a church of thirty members in 1801. David 
Churchill was chosen deacon. Though destitute of a pastor, these 
held together and maintained religious meetings till 1811, when 
Elder Isaac Sawyer became jjastor and served two years. These 
were years of the right hand of the Most High. In 1812, a powerful 
revival was in progress and thirty-three were ))a])tized and eight 
received l)y letter. One of the first converts and most infiuential 
workers in this interesting work of grace was Sally Whitman, 
daughter of Jacol) Whitman, and later the wife of Rev. Joseph 
Sawyer. Her first serious impressions were received one night 
U[)on her retiu'n from a ballroom, when she oxerhearil some con- 



370 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

versation between her father and mother, expressing anxiety for 
her. A Httle later she gave her heart to the Saviour and began 
earnest effort to lead her companions to Him. Joseph Sawyer was 
then a young man of about twenty and had just commenced preach- 
ing. 

One of his first efforts was on the very day that the battle was 
fought at Plattsburg. It was a time of great excitement and 
anxiety in Fairfield. When the British fleet, ascending the St. 
John's, had suddenly entered Lake Champlain and the cry came 
for volunteers, there was an instant rally — no patriot stopped to 
think^ — it was just go. Instantly the volunteers were together, 
and to the wonder of them all " Priest Wooster, " the Congregational 
pastor, was among them ; and when one of his church members ex- 
pressed a doubt as to his being called to fight, it was reported that 
he said, "If fighting must be done, I might as well fight as others. ' ' 
The volunteers made him captain, and away they all hurried on. 
But there was considerable of Tory feeling in the community. x\s 
the company was leaving. Colonel Barlow stood on a wagon box 
and said he hoped they would never come back, or if they did it 
would be with missing limbs to remind them of their folly. Sally 
Whitman relates that when her father and the rest had gone, a 
neighbor came to the house, and finding her mother very sad and 
expressing her fear thac some of them might be killed, made the 
cruel remark that it wouldn't hurt his feelings if none of thpm re- 
turned. It was under these circumstances that the people who 
were left went to the little schoolhouse for the usual Sunday ser- 
vices. Young Joseph Sawyer conducted the services. One of his 
youthful hearers has related the story. He says: "It was a solemn 
time when we heard the boom of the cannon. It made the win- 
dows rattle and we knew that the battle had commenced. The 
young preacher continued speaking in a low voice and impressive 
manner. Before he got through it was a rousing sermon. His 
text was, 'Speak unto the children of Israel that they go forward.' " 
The preacher went from his meeting to Fairfield Center, and there, 
in sympathy with anxious wives and mothers, he proposed to learn, 
as soon as possible, the fate of the volunteers. Hurriedly supplied 
with old linen for lint and bandages and many other articles knowTi 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 371 

to be of use to the wounded, he rode away at sunset on his embassy 
for patriotic women in Fairfield. Just as the morning dawned, 
he descried on the sand bars the volunteers returning \\'ith their 
chaplain in the joy of victory, no one missing or materially harmed. 
Only a few weeks later occurred the marriage of Joseph Sa^^'J'er to 
Miss Sally Whitman, Judge J. D. Farnsworth officiating in the 
ceremony. 

As a part of Fairfield history, if not specially of the Baptist 
church, it is interesting to know that, by way of compliment to 
the volunteers for their prompt movements, the Governor of the 
State presented to their captain. Priest Wooster, a large Bible; 
and the next Fourth of July celebration he led the procession, 
walking in front of the musicians, holding that Bible in his hands. 
A company of girls, representing the states of the Union, followed 
the musicians, all with wreaths of mountain evergreen upon their 
heads. 

In 1814, Joseph Sawyer was licensed to preach and to the great 
satisfaction of the church they enjoyed his labors about a year. 
The church now was scattered over a large territory, and that all 
might enjoy the privileges of church, they commenced holding 
their meetings in two different parts of the town. 

Elder Amos Booth was pastor, 1817-1818; Elder Ephraim 
Butler, half the time, 1820-1821; Elder William Chase, 1822; 
Elder J. Spaulding, 1824-1825. From 1828 to 1830 was the most 
prosperous season the church ever enjoyed. Elder William Arthur, 
father of President Arthur, was pastor, and his work was fruitful 
and edifying. Half of the time services were held in the north part 
of the town and one-half the time in the tovm house. 

The church had become large and scattered over so wide a 
territory, it was thought best to organize a new church. Accord- 
ingly, forty-six members were dismissed to form a church in the 
north part of the town. This reduced the church to a feeble band 
of thirty -two members. Elder Arthur became pastor of the new 
church. From 1830 to 1838, the South Fairfield church was sup- 
plied one-half the time by Elders C. P. Hines, Ephraim Butler, 
and Simon Fletcher. Tiien came a time of sorrow. A number of 
the most active and efficient brethren became Universalists, weak- 
ening this church. 



372 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

Madison Beeman supplied them in 1839-1840; H. D. Hodge 
and R. A. Hodge, 1841 ; J. M. Beeman, 1842-1844; O. W. Babcock, 
1846; C. J. Bryant, 1847. From this time the church ceased to re- 
port to the Association and in 1856, its name disappears from the 
minutes. 

Fletcher 

By a sketch, prepared in 1841, we learn that Sarah Church 
was the first Baptist in town and she commenced her residence in 
1800. In 1801, Elder Joseph Call and his wife came to the place, 
and in 1804 or 180.5, he was hired part of the time. In the spring 
of 1817, Joseph Wilcox, living in the southeast part of Fairfax, 
established religious meetings at the center schoolhouse, once in 
two weeks, for a year. July 5 of that year, a Baptist church was 
formed and recognized by a council the following August. Elder 
David Boynton succeeded Mr. Wilcox and Ephraim Butler fol- 
lowed him. The meetings were held in a meeting-house, owned 
jointly by Baptists and Methodists, and their meetings were held 
alternately. Elder Butler retained his membership here from 
September 17, 1825, till September 10, 1842. In 1830, a temper- 
ance society was organized, some heartily favoring it, others 
violently opposing and discord in the church resulted. 

In August, 1841, Elder Chester Ingraham united with the 
church as pastor. In the winter of 1845, Rev. O. W. Babcock, of 
Westford, finding difficulties existing that could not be settled 
amicably, advised disbanding, and this advice was followed, April 
12, 1845 The number of members, w^hen organized, was nine. 
Whole number included in membership from beginning, ninety- 
eight. James Robinson served the church, both as deacon and 
clerk, during the whole existence of the church. 

June 26, 1845, a neiv Baptist church teas organized, consisting 
of nine of the members of the original church. Alvah Chase was 
chosen clerk, which office he held till his death in 1851. In 1852, 
Willis Leach was appointed clerk, and in 1858, deacon. 

In the year 1847, Rev. J. C. Bryant, then settled at the Bap- 
tist church in Caml ridge Center, began work here and remained 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 373 

till the spring of 1851, when P. C. Himes of Wells, Maine, settled 
at East Swanton, ministering to the church there and at this place 
alternate Sundays. From September, 1852, until the spring of 
1856, the pulpit was supplied by various theological students, to- 
gether with Dr. Smith from New Hampton Institution, Fairfax. 
Then Rev. Geo. W. Bixby was with the church one year. Prof. 
Cummings, of New Hampton Institution, was also pastor one year, 
1858 or 1859. From that time, till 1866, the church was again de- 
pendent upon student supplies. From 1868, till August 3, 1871, 
little was done and no records kept. In the summer of 1870, the 
church, in connection with the Methodist, succeeded in building 
a house of worship, each church owning one-half. This was dedi- 
cated in February, 1871. L. B. Elliott was chosen clerk, which 
office he held till his death. Josiah White was chosen deacon and 
he too held his position till death, December 21, 1880. Rev. L. B. 
Parker was pastor, 1871-1875; I. \N. Coombs, 1876; M. L. Fox, 
died while pastor, June 12, 1877; De F. Safford succeeded him, 
September, 1877, and preached till 1881. 

September 25, 1852, the church granted a license to preach to 
J. W. Buzzell. He studied theology at New Hampton Institution 
and was ordained at East Sheldon in 1856. July 7, 1855, Corwin 
Blaisdell was licensed to preach. He studied theology at Fairfax, 
also, and was ordained at Colton, N. Y. In 1887, Rev. Henry 
Crocker, pastor of the Fairfax church, began to preach alternate 
Sundays in the afternoon, and continued to do so till 1893, when 
he was obliged to give it up for lack of strength to do the work of 
both churches. 

Rev. Edgar Hatfield, of Westford, was then engaged and was 
followed by Rev. E. P. Lyon in 1896, who served one year. The 
church since then, unable to maintain preaching, has become ex- 
tinct. The Methodist church ministers to the needs of the com- 
munity, so long occupied by the two churches. 

Johnson 

In 1780, a charter was granted to a Mr. Brown of Jericho and 
the boundary lines fixed. By him the territory was called Bro%\Ti- 



374 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

ington. The grantee, before making any attempt at a settlement, 
was taken by the Indians, who infested the northern boundaries, 
and by them carried away and sold to the British officers of St. 
Johns. He remained in captivity three years. When released, he 
returned to his claim purchase. But because the charter fees 
had not been paid and nothing was known of him, a man by the 
name of Johnson had received a grant of the same territory. At 
his retuirn Mr. Brown was granted a township in Orleans county 
in place of this. The charter was signed by the governor in 1792, 
and the name recorded as Johnson, after the name of the grantee. 
The first settler, Samuel Eaton and family, came from New Hamp- 
shire in 1784. He built him a home on the banks of the Lamoille 
River. All his goods were brought seventy miles on the back of 
his family horse. The next year, two brothers, named McConnell, 
followed him. Others followed the same year. Among them are 
the familiar names of Miller, Rogers, Mills, Smith, Grey, etc. 
From 1790 to 1800, a second band of settlers came from New Boston 
and Amherst, N. H., and again we find familiar names, as Dodge, 
Wilson, Balch, and Ellenwood. From Massachusetts and Con- 
necticut came others, as Ferry, Clark, Wheeler, Atwell, and a little 
later came families by the names of Griswold, Ober, Patch, Per- 
kins, Waters, Nichols, Whiting, and Waterman. These are still 
familiar family names in the town. 

In the month of March, 1807, Elder David Boynton, of Spring- 
field, Vt., in search of a place to locate himself where there might be 
an opening for him to labor in the Gospel, as well as at his trade, 
which was that of a bricklayer, was providentially directed to 
Johnson, where, while spending a few days to fix upon a location for 
his family, by embracing opportunities for religious conversation 
with those he chanced to meet, fourd many disposed to listen, and 
after preaching a few times, was determined, more by the prospect 
of usefulness in the cause of Christ than of pecuniary advantage to 
himself, to settle in the towa. The next March he removed his 
family into the town and commenced holding stated meetings for 
preaching and dnine worship. In a few weeks the appearance of 
seriousness on the minds of the people, induced him to appoint 
meetings for prayer and conference. It soon became evident that 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 375 

a good work of the Lord was in progress, five had obtained hope 
of pardon and were desirous of submitting themselves to the ordi- 
nance of baptism. These were accordingly baptized — others fol- 
lowed soon, so that in November, twelve had been baptized, who 
with two others, were organized into a church in the following 
manner : 

The little band had determined to call a council and to arrange 
for it, when to their great surprise and joy. Elder Ariel Kendrick, 
sent out by the Woodstock Association as a missionary, arrived 
in town, accompanied by a Brother Willey, a licentiate, who to- 
gether with Elder Boynton, made up a number sufficient to form 
a council. Of this council. Elder Kendrick was chosen moderator 
and Brother Elijah F. Willey, clerk. November 11, 1808, the 
twehe converts were organized as a church. Two others were im- 
mediately added; Jonathan Burnham was chosen deacon and 
Charles B. Taylor, clerk. Additions by baptism and letter con- 
tinued till one year from the date of their organization. They 
numbered thirty -nine. 

The names of the constituent members are as follows : Nathan 
Atwell, Enos Clark, Jonathan Burnham, Eunice Clark, Martha 
Davis, Sally Ferry, Martha Fletcher, Charles B. Taylor, Eleanor 
Ferry, Parker Fletcher, James Heath, Lucy Taylor, Joel Wheeler, 
and Martha Wheeler. Elder D. Boynton, from the church in 
Weathersfield and Baltimore, was first pastor, and served till 18^21. 
He still continued a member of this church and resided m Johnson 
until his death, except for a time, when he became pastor of the 
church in Coit's Gore, now knowm as Waterville. Nine members, 
with Elder Boynton, were dismissed to form that church, which 
continued its existence for nearly twenty years. 

Elder John Spaulding was next engaged to preach half the 
time in conjunction \\ith Morristown. He labored here two years. 
Robert Hastings followed from September, 18'-24, one year. Rev. 
Joel P. Hayford l)egan a pastorate in July, 18*26, which continued 
till 1830. He died in 1831. He was born in Middleboro, Mass., 
February, 1799; graduated at Waterville College, Me.; ordained at 
Morrisville, December 21 , 1831 . Elder Albert Stone became })astor 
in 1831. He had been ordained in his own house in Waterville in 



376 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

February of the same year. His coming was followed by a revival, 
in which, during that year, thirty-seven were added by baptism and 
two by letter. His pastorate continued till 1840. They were 
years of increase in numbers and strength. During his pastorate, 
the first meeting-house was built. Elder Stone accepted the doc- 
trines of William Miller, after his pastorate here closed. He died 
in that faith in the fall of 1893, at the advanced age of ninety years. 
Elder E. L. Clark was pastor from August 24, 1840, to Jan- 
uary 8, 1842. Many were added to the church during these ex- 
citing times of the Millerite preaching. Mr. Clark espoused the 
Millerite faith and was deposed by a council. From 1842 to 
1850, the pulpit was occupied by R. A. Hodge, J. P. Hall, and 
I. J. Cressey. Then came Rev. Moses H. Bixby. His pastorate 
of a year and a half was one of marked success. Eighteen were 
added by baptism and ten by letter; the Sunday school became 
large and flourishing. From Johnson, Mr. Bixby was called of God 
to enter the work of foreign missionary, and later to the pastorate 
of the Cranston St., Providence, R. I. Rev. E. Gale was ordained 
pastor, October, 1852. The membership at this time was one hun- 
dred and sixteen. He baptized twelve. Rev. T. M. Merriam 
followed in 1856 and continued pastor till 1861 . Under him, twenty- 
four were baptized. Rev. L. B. Steele was ordained, after his 
graduating from New Hampton, in July, 1863. He obtained a 
strong hold upon the affections of the people and baptized seven- 
teen. The pastors succeeding were: Rev. H. D. Hodge, 1866- 
1870; D. C. Bixby and J. P. Hall, supplies; Jabez Ferris, 1872-1874; 
B. F. Rattrey, 1875-1878; (at the close of his work the church 
numbered one hundred and forty -three, the largest in its history) 
J. A. Pierce, 1879-1883; T. Crudgington, 1884-1888. Baptisms 
were frequent during this pastorate and forty were added to the 
membership. Rev. N. C. Saunders began a successful pastorate 
in 1889, which lasted till 1896. Sixty -five were added to the church, 
forty-four of them by baptism. A historical sketch of the church 
was written by him and read at the eighty-fifth anniversary of the 
church, November 3, 1893. A succession of brief pastorates have 
followed: R. I. MacLellan, 1898; A. L. Boynton, 1899; S. E. Pack- 
ard, 19G0; H. C. Leach, 1904; C. E. Hargrave, 1905-1906; G. A. 
Williams, 1907-1908; A. M. Watts, 1909-1910. 



history of the baptists in vermont 377 

Colchester 

The first persons in Colchester to embrace the sentiments of 
the Baptists were Brother Fisher, and his wife and sisters, Roby 
Greenough, Mehitable Ames, and Jane Hooper. These people 
liecame residents of Colchester about 1810, and Brother Fisher 
preached for a short time, having been licensed by a church in 
New Hampshire. He remained in Colchester till his death, which 
occurred in February, 1811. After his decease there were none in 
Colchester who embraced the Baptist faith till 1816. That year. 
Brother Jonathan Blake, a licentiate from the church in Essex, 
came and preached and many were converted. In October, 1816, 
Ebenezer Spencer and Peter Burns were baptized by Elder Roswell 
Mears. A few weeks later he baptized nine others. The eleven 
recently baptized and two others baptized, before coming to Col- 
chester, now longed for church fellowship. They decided to call a 
council, which met on the '27th of November, 1816, and recognized 
this little company of thirteen as a Baptist church. The names of 
these constituent members were: Walter Ames, Azariah Lee, 
Ebenezer Spencer, Peter Burns, Parker M. Dole, Melze Packard, 
Wilham Blakely, Mehitable Ames, Jane Hooper, Sohina Clapp, 
Silome Washburn, Minerva Hill, Isabella Blakely. The church 
enjoyed the labors of Jonathan Blake till 1817 and many were con- 
verted, some of whom united with the Congregatioualists and 
Methodists, which were strong bodies in comparison with tlie 
Baptists. From the spring of 1817, till January, 1820, the church 
had no spiritual guide, Imt in this interval eleven were added by 
baptism. El)enezer Spencer was chosen clerk, and Azariah Lee 
was ordained deacon. Phineas Culver was installed in IS^O, and 
with an interruption of two years, served the church nine years, 
and the church came to immber thirty-one members. At this 
time the Baptists in Colchester were a poor, despised people, their 
sentiments were everywhere spoken against. The church, left 
without a pastor and depressed by the loss of members, removing 
from towTi, desjiaired of continuing as a church, and in 1832, they 
voted to give the members letters of dismission and recommenda- 
tion to unite with any other church of the same faith and order. 



378 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

but the members did not use their letters and two years later they 
got together again and determined that they would maintain their 
visibility as a church. They employed Elder J. C. Bryant to 
labor with them, for eighteen months. Then Elder Isaiah Hunt- 
ley, of Jericho, befriended them, holding special meetings, which 
were blessed in the conversion of a good number and twenty svere 
baptized. In the fall of 1839, William Miller, of Hampton, N. Y., 
lectured a few days in Colchester and was received with sympathy. 
His preaching resulted in the baptism of twenty- three into the 
Baptist church. Again in 1840, William Miller came and lectured 
and twenty-five were baptized and ten united l)y letter. The 
membership of the church was seventy in 1840, and ninety in 1841. 
Elder Huntley, who came to them in their depressed state and con- 
tinued to shepherd them from time to time, won their deep grati- 
tude. 

In 1860, they decided to build a meeting-house by themselves. 
In July, they secured as pastor, Rev. S. A. Whiting, and the church 
entered upon a season of prosperity which lasted seven years. 

After this came strife and removals and consequent weakness. 
Since the erection of the new meeting-house the following men 
have acted as pastors : S. A. Whiting, July 1, 1862-December, 
1863; George S. Chase, February 24, 1869-May 5, 1872; Rev. 
R. Nott, August 4, 1872-July, 1875; J. W. Buzzell, January, 1876- 
January, 1878; H. C. Robbins, August, 1878-1879; H. H. Davis, 
1881-1884; J. S. Ferguson, 1885; Dr. Freeman, 1887; S. E. Miller, 
1889-1897; Thomas Davison, 1899-1900; J. T. Buzzell, 1901- 
1908; S. E. Aldrich, 1909. Membership (1912), fifty-seven. 

Jericho 

April 21, 1817, a branch of the Baptist church in Essex was 
set off and organized as a church in Jericho. The manner of con- 
ducting their meetings, the name of their first pastor and the salary 
offered him, are recorded in the following vote, passed near the 
close of the year 1819. Voted, that Brethren Joiner, Norton, and 
Castle stand as those who shall take lead of the meetings. Voted 
to add $17 to the subscription to make up $75 to Elder J. Ravlin 
for preaching two years past. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 379 

Meetings were held half of the time at the village, known as 
the Corner, and the other half at the south jjart of the to\\Ti, be- 
ginning February, 1823. Up to 1829, the pastors were Thomas 
Hastings, Joel P. Hayford, and Elders Kimball, Spaulding and 
Cheney, serving in the order named. In 1829, Elder J. M. Graves 
was chosen pastor and immersion and additions to the church 
make up its record till the close of his labors in 1833. Rev. Tim- 
othy Spaulding was recalled and remained till 1835. He was fol- 
lowed by Elder I. Huntley, five years. Elder Hodge was pastor 
in 1843, and in February of this year, thirty -nine persons were set 
off and organized into a church called the Second Baptist church 
of Jericho, later known as the West Bolton church. Rev. H. M. 
Stearns acted as pastor from the close of Elder Hodge's service 
in 1845, for two years, followed by Rev. Peter Chase for one year, 
and S. H. Abbott from 1850 to 1852; Rufus Smith, 1852-1856; 
1856-1859, served by suppHes. A house of worship and parson- 
age were built in 1859. Later pastors: James Andem, 1859- 
1861; H. C. Estes, 1861-1872, the longest pastorate; Evan Lewis, 
a short time; A. Jones, 1874-1880; DeForrest Safford, 1880-1883; 
P. C. Abbey, supply; J. W. Coombs to 1886; Richard Bradshaw, 
ordained, 1889-1890. 

Rev. A. N. Woodruff came in 1890 and remained till 1894, 
when Rev. J. T. Buzzell began his service, which continued till 
1901. The following pastors have served since this long pastorate 
closed: O. N. Bean, 1901-1903; G. W. Campbell, 1905; Frederick 
Emerson, 1907-1908; N. M. Wolcott, 1910. 

In 1874, extensive repairs were made on the meeting-house, 
and in 1891, the prayer meeting room was constructed and the 
furnace put in the basement of the church. 

Up to 1869, there had been six hundred and nine persons con- 
nected with the church. At that time the roll was examined and 
there were found to be one hundred and thirty- three names then 
enrolled and the committee recommended that fifty -two of these 
be stricken from the roll for various reasons, leaving eighty-one 
as the membershij) then. Additions have been made from time 
to time, the most notable that of 1896, when twenty baptisms are 
reported. Losses have been many and the present membership is 



380 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

fifty-seven. Deacon E. B. Read kept the records faithfully for 
thirty -eight years and W. R. Curtis for more than twenty years 
since then. 

The longest period of continued prosperity was prol)ably that 
of the eleven years' ministry of Rev. H. C. Estes, and it remained 
for Rev. J. T. Buzzell to record the largest single year's addition 
by baptism within the church's history in 1896. 

Montgomery 

The Baptist church in Montgomery Center was organized 
March 18, 1820, with ten members; Elder John Ide, acting pastor. 
1826-1827, Elder Grow served as pastor. In 1829, the church had 
reached a membership of about thirty. 1831 was a year of refresh- 
ing. Elder Powell served the church and baptized seventeen. 
From 1833 to 1840, the church was served by Elders Spaulding, 
Beeman, Stone, Rockwell, Cole, and Flint. Elder L. Cole was the 
first pastor settled in 1835. During this period several were bap- 
tized. The exact number is not known, as the records were de- 
stroyed by fire. In 1846, the pastor. Rev. A. Stone, and a large 
portion of the church, were carried away with the Miller doctrine, 
and no meetings were held during the next six years. The church 
became practically extinct. 

In 1846, a council convened and organized a church after the 
apostolic order of twelve members. Elders J. Spaulding and I. 
Cressey, supplied part of the time. From 1850 to 1859, Elders 
Jersey and A. L. Arms, labored as time would permit. In 1860, 
the church numbered about fifteen. Rev. J. W. Buzzell labored a 
year. Up to this time the church had met in schoolhouses. Now 
they secured the use of the Advent house part of the time. Eleven 
were baptized this year. 1861 was a year of blessing. The church 
doubled its membership. From 1862 to 1868, Rev. J. W. Buz- 
zell was pastor. In 1862, Rev. J. S. Small served about a year. 
1865, a building committee was appointed. In January 30, 1867, 
the new church edifice was dedicated. George A. Parker was 
ordained the same day that the chvu'ch was dedicated, a parsonage 
secured, and the church was greatly revived. The membership 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 381 

was again doubled; thirty being added by baptism, fourteen by 
experience, and seven by letter; total fifty-one. From 1868 to 
1872, Rev. J. F. Ferguson was pastor. These were prosperous 
years. In 1868, Brother S. H. Green was licensed to preach and 
commenced a course of study at Hamilton. Brother G. A. Smith 
was also recommended to the same institution, with the ministry 
in view. In 1869, the church reported thirteen added by baptism, 
and five by letter; were saddened by the death of Deacon King. 
In 1870, a commodious church was built. The debt on the meet- 
ing-house w^as reduced to $350. In 1871, Rev. H. G. DeWitt as- 
sisted the pastor in revival work. During Mr. Ferguson's pas- 
torate forty-six were received into the church, twenty-eight by 
baptism. April, 1873, Rev. A. S. Gilbert became pastor, and 
served with acceptance about four years. Prosperity continued. 
Seventeen w^ere added by baptism, four by letter and one by ex- 
perience. Within about ten years the church sent out seven young 
men to preach the Gospel. 

In 1864, George H. Parker, ordained in 1867; in 1867, S. H. 
Green, ordained in 1875; in 1868, George H. Smith, ordained in 
1876; in 1868, M. L. Fox, ordained in 1875; in 1871, John Low; 
1874, J. T. Buzzell; 1875, O. W. Peck. 

Rev. S. B. Macomber labored from May 1, 1876-August, 
1879. During his work the last of the debt was paid, and he helped 
to pay it. Rev. S. G. Chase supplied till January, 1880, when 
Rev. S. H. Anderson was chosen pastor. He served until August, 
1881. The church was supplied by G. Arms, S. B. Macomber 
and Thomas Grusia, till May, 1883, when the church called Rev. 
Thomas Tellier. During his pastorate of three years, nineteen 
were added to the church, fifteen by bai)tism. 

In March, 1887, Rev. R. S. Cook became pastor. Evange- 
listic meetings were held, assisted by State Missionary, Rev. A. 
McGeorge. Fifty-seven were added to the church, thirty-seven 
by baptism, nineteen by experience, one by letter. July 1, 1888, 
the church called E. K. Dexter and ordained him as pastor. He 
served about two years and resigtied on account of poor health. 
In December, 1890, Robert MacJannet was called and ordained. 
He remained about six months. In the sj)ring and summer of 



382 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

1892, Mrs. M. L. Jackson was employed. In the fall of 1894, 
Rev. D. Cooksley came and staid six months. In the fall of 1895, 
Frank A. Leach commenced to supply and continued till April, 
1896. May 10, 1896, the church called Rev. Charles J. Engstrom. 
During all these years there have been men and women, who have 
stood by the church, toiling, praying and sacrificing, because of 
their love for Christ and his cause. Among the number it will be 
proper to mention a few. Deacon Kingsley, Stephen Kendrick, 
Mary Kingsley, Deacon Davis, Deacon Campbell and his wife. 
Deacon L. Hurlbut, William Peck, Joseph Wright, George W. 
Wright, William O. Parker, and wife, S. N. Dix, Mary J. Wright, 
Columbus Green, Martha Green. 

Rich FORD 

The present Richford Village Baptist church is the fourth that 
has been organized in Richford. 

The first Baptist church was gathered by the labors of Rev, 
William Marsh and Rev. J. Hebbard and was organized August 
12, 1802, with eleven constituent members. These were John 
French, Francis Brown, Friend Gibbs, Stephen Carpenter, Jere- 
miah Rowe, Sibbal French, Rhoda Gibson, Lucy Gibbs, Florinda 
Carpenter, Chloe Schovill and Nancy Calf. Shortly afterward 
they were joined by Thomas Arms and his wife, Martha; Parker 
Ingalls and his wife, Mabel; John Stearns, Caleb Sanders, and his 
wife, Sally; Anna Coflf, Lucy Powell and Charlotte Nutting. 

In March, 1804, Elder William Rogers became first pastor. 
He was a native of Hancock, Mass., son of Elder Clark Rogers, who 
was settled minister in that town; was baptized by Elder J. Heb- 
bard in St. Armands, and was the second person baptized in that 
place, and one of the seven constituent members there when the 
church was organized. He was ordained in September, 1802. 

God blessed Elder Rogers ' labors and the church increased to 
a membership above eighty. But unhappy divisions and difficul- 
ties took place. One of the first was on account of one of the breth- 
ren allowing his children to attend balls. After long discussions 
and efforts at satisfactory discipline, eight or ten withdrew from 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT SUS 

the church. About this time, a woman began a train of prophesy- 
ing, as she called it, pretending to have messages from Heaven to 
denounce against Elder Rogers, calling him a sheep in wolf's cloth- 
ing, and a devourer of the flock, etc., and considered that she had 
authority from God to depose him and to name others in his stead. 
Some of the church were half inclined to believe her. However, 
in spite of difficulties, the Lord revived His work and added to 
their number, those who gave evidence of having been renewed by 
grace. Other trials soon came, but the fatal one was division upon 
doctrinal questions, one part of the church being strongly Calvinis- 
tic and the other Armenian. 

Elder Rogers continued his la])ors until age and infirmities 
disabled him. He died March 9, 1851, after service of forty-seven 
years. At this time the church became extinct. 

The Second Baptist church was organized about 1827, by those 
who left the first church on account of the doctrinal differences. 
Prosper Powell and Albert Stone were pastors of this church. A 
large number of this church, with their pastor, Albert Stone, became 
Second Adventists in 1842. As a consequence, the church be- 
came extinct in 1844. 

The Third Baptist church in Richford was organized with four- 
teen const'itutent members on the 16th of July, 1851. Rev. J. C. 
Bryant was the first pastor and served five years. Rev. A. Bedell 
served as pastor two years. In March, 1860, Rev. A. L. Arms be- 
came pastor and continued to serve until the church, after an ex- 
istence of twenty years and eight months, thought it advisal)le to 
disband. On the 25th of March, 1872, the church met, and with 
the advice of the late Rev. M. G.Smith and Dr. Estes, deemed 
it advisable to give letters of dismission to all members in good 
standing and to dissolve the church for the ])urpose of clearing the 
way for the present organization. 

The Fourth Baptist church, called the Richford Village church, 
was organized with twenty-three constituent members on the 25th 
of March, 1872. Rev. M. G. Smith served as ])astor for the first 
three years. He received able assistance from Rev. H. C. Estes, 
D. D., during the first year. By advice of Mr. Smith pews were 
purchased in the new edifice, built by AdvtMitists and others. 



384 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

$2,000 were paid for these with the promise of the use of the build- 
ing one-half the time. Rev. J. S. Goodall was next pastor one year; 
G. S. Chase, three years; and J. T. Buzzell, two years. Good work 
was accomplished and many added to the church. 

In September, 1886, Rev. \V. G. Schofield was called to the 
pastorate and held the sacred office until 1907. The arrangements 
with the Adventists concerning the joint use of the house worked 
smoothly for a time, but at length a jealousy on the part of the 
Adventists led them to seek a separation. Efforts on the part of the 
Baptists to buy out the shares of the Adventists proved unavailing, 
and on the 9th of October, 1887, the Baptists began holding their 
services in music hall, meanwhile erecting a meeting-house of their 
own. On the 30th day of August, 1888, the new house was dedi- 
cated free of debt. The cost of the new house was about $4,500. 
The church, happy in their new house, seemed on the high road to 
prosperity. The Lord graciously smiled on them. Their meetings 
were of high spiritual order and converts were multiplied. The 
aid of the State Convention was relinquished. But in 1892, thirty 
members moved away to other places and six passed to the better 
country. Among them were the very best workers and most 
liberal givers. The pastor thought it best to resign, but the 
church were not willing to let him go, but on the contrary, built a 
convenient parsonage and retained his faithful labors. 

During the first ten years of this pastorate, ninety new mem- 
bers were added, sixty-six of them by baptism. The membership 
increased from forty -six to seventy. Ten years later the number 
enrolled was one hundred and eight. Mr. Schofield 's pastorate 
of thirty years was well nigh an ideal one. The relation between 
him and the church and people of the community, one of confidence 
and esteem. 

After the resignation of Mr. Schofield, Rev. Silas P. Perry 
was called to the pastorate and took up the work with character- 
istic hopefulness and energy, remained five years, welcomed to 
membershij) thirty-eight by baptism, twenty-one by letter and ex- 
perience. Numerical losses were many, twenty-one ha^•ing been 
dropped from the list in 1908. Mr. Perry removed in 1911, to 
take up the work in Fair Haven, Vt. The present membershij) of 
the church is one hundred and six, (1912). 



history of the baptists in vermont 385 

Huntington 

This church was organized as a branch of the Hinesburg 
church May 17, 1828. Elder Peter Chase officiated at the first 
meeting of the church and iVmos Dike was clerk. January 1, 
1833, Daniel Bennett commenced to preach one-third of the time 
for one year. April 6th, the church separated from the Hinesburg 
church and became the Huntington church, with twenty-six mem- 
bers. These were: Amos Pike, Aaron Firman, John Ellis, Harry 
Williams, Lumon Loveland, James Hazard, George Small, Lemuel 
Livermore, Lydia Dike, Mary Firman, Catherine Ellis, Susan 
Williams, Lucinda Small, Hannah Ellis, Polly Fargo, Roby Car- 
penter, Mary Ann Livermore, Betsy Bunker, Hannah Fitch, 
Mary Derby, Sarah Ingersol, Lucy King, Mary Firman, '2nd, 
Phileta Marieo, Sibil Livermore, Hannah Ellis, 2nd. Harry Will- 
iams was clerk, 1837-1843; John Work, 1843-1861; Joseph Butts, 
1861-1875; O. Elhs, 1875; Aaron Firman was first deacon, hold- 
ing office till his death, 1843, when John Ellis succeeded him. 
G. B. Andrews was chosen November 7. Elder Daniel Bennett 
labored with the church six or seven years one-third of the time, 
commencing January 1, 1833. A. D. Low, (licensed) preached in 
the winter of 1840-1841. William Hurlbut commenced his min- 
istry here; was ordained and became pastor September, 1841. 
He remained with the church over eleven years. In 1843, twenty 
were received by baptism and four by letter, about doubhng the 
membership of the church. In 1840, they built their first meeting- 
house; J. Ellis, S. Buel, H. Williams and A. Firman, liearing nearly 
the whole burden. The following incident in connection with this 
building is related : 

Mr. Harry Williams called one evening at Mr. J. Ellis' and 
suggested that the Baptists ought to have a house of worship, as 
there were three other denominations occupying the schoolhouse 
in that place. The question arose. How can it l)c done? Mrs. 
Carter Ellis said she would help all she could. She had two gee.se 
and one gander, and she said she would give all she could get from 
them. The old goose laid eighteen eggs. She set five under a 
hen and thirteen under the goose. Every egg hatched. The old 



386 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

goose took care of them for three weeks, when she was missing. 
Search revealed the fact that the old gander had taken charge of 
the eighteen goshngs and the old goose was laying again in her old 
nest under the barn. She laid eight eggs and hatched seven gos- 
lings, making a family of twenty -five. Twenty of them matured. 
The young goose raised ten. Mr. Ellis saved one for Thanksgiving 
and sold twenty -nine in Burlington for seventeen cents apiece. 
The feathers sold for sixty -two cents per pound. The proceeds 
were given to aid in building the house of worship. Others were 
stimulated to bring in their mites. The material having been ob- 
tained, the building was commenced. Mrs. C. Ellis went a dis- 
tance of a mile and carried a warm dinner to the workmen until 
the building was finished. Mr. Ellis, after working on his farm all 
day, would drive to Bristol in the evening and be gone all night 
after lumber. Mr. John Fitch, having only pine lumber, gave a 
supply of this for the new meeting-house. He was not a religious 
man. This house served the church till 1861, when they joined 
with the Free Baptists and built a larger house. 

After Elder Hurlbut's long pastorate the church was supplied 
by different ones for short periods. Chester Ingraham, of Essex, 
in 1855; G. W. Bixby, in 1863; G. ^Y. Arms, in 1864; J. S. Small, in 
1867, 1868, and 1869. In 1874, I. P. Kellogg became pastor, 
continuing till about 1876. In 1874, special meetings were held, 
assisted by E. A. Whittier, evangelist, and the church was much re- 
vived and eight were added to its membership. In 1884, A. S. 
Gilbert of Hinesburg supplied once in four weeks; I. P. Kellogg 
again in 1887. From that time on the church declined, having 
only occasional preaching. In 1893, the name of the church was 
remoA'ed from the list of churches in the Lamoille Association as 
having become extinct. 

North Fairfax 

The North Fairfax neighborhood was settled by emigrants 
from Bennington, among whom were a few Baptists who "spake 
often to one another" concerning the things of the Kingdom, and 
welcomed itinerant i)reachers, as Elder Call and Elder Grossman, 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 387 

prayed for the conversion of their neighbors. In 1816 and 1817, 
the Spirit's influence was felt in the community and quite a num- 
ber were converted and some of these united with the church in 
Fairfax. It was not, however, till November, 1827, that it was 
deemed prudent to organize a church. Then, encouraged by the 
help of Daniel Sabin, of Georgia, an organization was effected and 
the church recognized by a council the following June, 1828. The 
name given the organization was "The New Church of Fairfax." 

The constituent members of the North Fairfax church were: 
Alonzo Mason, Peabody Babcock, Francis Story, Moses Howard, 
Asahel Story, Ruth Story, Chloe Story, Hulda Babcock, Nancy 
Beeman, Mary Howard, Hannah Mason, Phila Mason and Polly 
Beeman. 

In December, 1828, Daniel Sabin was ordained pastor. The 
next year, in the month of September, there were some indications 
of special interest, and at the close of a Sabbath meeting, liberty 
was given for any who \vished to speak, when a young man, under 
deep emotion, asked that old and most important question, " What 
shall I do to be saved?" The inquiry fanned the latent interest 
into a flame, and a powerful revival followed, in which some sixty 
persons gave evidence of conversion and twenty-three were bap- 
tized into the membershij) of this church ; most of these were heads 
of families. In the autumn of 1836, under the evangelistic labors 
of Elder Isaiah Huntley, came another gracious ingathering. 
Twenty-three were baptized, all in the vigor of youth. Three 
years later. Rev. J. D. Baldwin, then in the service of the State 
Convention, led the church in evangelistic services. Elder Daniel 
Sabin 's health failing about 1840, he retired from active pastoral 
work, much to the regret of his people. The church secured the 
labors of Rev. O. W. Babcock one-half the time and prospered. 
In November, 1842, the Lamoille Association held a quarterly 
meeting with this church, which was followed by a deep, religious 
interest. Elder Daniel Sabhi 's health continuing poor, the services 
of Elder L. A. Dunn, of Fairfax, were secured for one-iialf the time. 
This arrangement continued till about 1840. Rev. G. B. Bills 
preached in 1850; R. A. Hodge, 1851 and 1852; (;. W. Bixby, 1853 
and 1854. 



388 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

The establishing of New Hampton Institution in Fairfax was 
an encouragement to the church in North Fairfax. One of the 
teachers, M. A. Cummings, was secured as a supply, and in 1856, 
was ordained by this church and continued to serve the church till 
1860. For a few years, students from the Institution supplied the 
pulpit. Then in 1865, Rev. G. W. Arms served three years. 
For about ten years the church was without regular preaching, 
then arrangement was made with the church in St. Albans and 
its pastor, Rev. G. S. Pratt, supplied about three years. From 
that time the church declined till about 1890, when it disbanded. 

North Fairfield 

This church was organized May 26, 1830, with fifty-two mem- 
bers, forty-six of whom had been previously members of the South 
Fairfield church and were dismissed for this purpose. Elder 
William Arthur, who had been pastor of the South church, took 
charge of this branch and continued in that relation two years. 
He v\'as followed by Elder James Rockwell, one year. In March, 
1835, the church carried into effect a plan of itinerant preaching, 
in connection with several other churches. Elder Luther Cole and 
Elder Moses Flint were the preachers the first year, and Elder 
Moses Flint and Elder James M. Beeman the second year. Then 
Elder \Yilliam Chase commenced preaching one-fourth of the time 
and continued till 1841. In the spring of 1839, Elder J. Baldwin 
assisted in special revival meetings, and as a result, twelve were 
baptized by Pastor Chase. Brother Edwin Adreon came to re- 
side in town in 1841, and preached to this church one-half the time. 
Asahel Farnsworth and Elias Sherman were chosen deacons and 
ordained to their office. In 1842, twenty-eight were received by 
baptism. J. M. Beeman was pastor, 1843-1845. In 1844, thirteen 
members were dropped from the list. The same year a church was 
organized in the east part of the town and reported to the Associa- 
tion, under the name of the East Fairfield Baptist church. The 
name does not appear again. The natural inference is that this 
number were dro|)ped to form the new church which soon became 
extinct. The cause of this separation is not known. The names 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 389 

of I. Waldron, J. Spaulding, J. Bowdich, appear as supplies during 
the next decade. In 1857, the North Fairfield church joined ^vith 
the church in Sheldon in the support of a pastor, whose services 
they enjoyed alternate Sundays. The name of the North Fairfield 
church disappears from the minutes, and the name Sheldon and 
Fairfield church appears for a few years. In 1858, this church 
ordained J. AV. Buzzell as pastor, and had a membership of thirty- 
two. In I860, Corwin Blaisdell was the preacher. After this 
time the name of the North Fairfield church disappears from the 
minutes, and its history as a church thus ends. 

HiNESBURG 

The Baptist church in Hinesburg was constituted May 30, 
1810, consisting of eighteen members, seven men and eleven women. 
These members, most of whom lived in Hinesburg, were dismissed 
from the church in Monkton. The most perfect harmony and 
christian affection existed between the mother church and the 
newly organized band. Elder Isaac Sawyer, then pastor of the 
Monkton church, preached for them occasionally and adminis- 
tered the ordinances. The eighteen constituent members were: 
John Beecher, and his wife, Lydia; Asa Moon and his wife, Hannah; 
John Miles and his wife, Mary Ann; John Beecher and his wife, 
Clarissa; Elisha Booth and his wife, Elizabeth; Stephen Post and 
his wife, Hannah; Amos Dike, Merch ISIcEuen, Anna Willard, 
Rhoda Bostwick, Hulda E. Booth, Lydia Andrews. 

The church has had a large number of pastors, most of whom 
have served for only a few years. The longest pastorates have been 
those of Peter Chase, six years; I. G. Burwell, twelve years; A. S. 
Gilbert, nine years; C. W. Safford, six years. 

Rev. Peter Chase came to Hinesburg on invitation of the Bap- 
tist church in May, 1821, and continued to preach to the church 
until Augu.«t, 18'28. During the years of 1823 and 1824, he taught 
a select school in the masonic hall, and the success of this school 
led to the origin of the academy, and in its organization and in the 
erection of the building. Mr. Chase took a very active and success- 
ful part, as also in the erection of the Baptist ineeting-liouse. He 



390 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 



had commenced study of the languages and the higher branches of 
academical education at the age of twenty-one, and pursued his 
studies with great diligence and success foi four years, mostly in 
Philadelphia. He is said to have acquired the ability to read with 
considerable ease, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Chaldee, German and 
French. He transcribed Chaldee -grammar, from the only copy 
he could find in Philadelphia, in 1820. He went from Hinesburg 
to Wilhston in 1828, and thence to West Enosburg (1862). 

The succession of pastors, time of service and the blessing of 
God upon the united evangelistic efforts of pastors and church, as 
indicated by the number of baptisms, are shown in the accompany- 
ing table. The church has been blessed at frequent intervals with 
gracious outpourings of the Spirit and the conversion of souls, as 
these figures clearly show. 



Time of 



1813 

1818- 

1822- 

1831- 

1833- 

1834- 

1839- 

1841 

1844 

1849 

1852 

1856- 

1859- 

1863- 

1867 

1878- 

1888- 

1890- 

1893 



1814 
1821 
1828 
1832 
1834 
1837 
1840 
1843 
1847 
1851 
1855 
1858 
1861 
1867 
1878 
1887 
1889 
1891 
1895 





No. of 


Name 


Baptism 


Samuel Churchill 


1 


Ephraim Butler 


79 


Peter Chase 


66 


S. S. Parr 


18 


William Arthur 


33 


John Ide 


29 


Amasa Brown 


44 


W. G. Johnson 


22 


A. H. Stowell 





M. G. Hodge 


38 


W. L. Picknell 


2 


Archil^ald Wait 


5 


Freeman Gregory 


20 


Reul)en Sawyer 


2 


I. G. Burwell 


58 


A. S. Gilbert 


24 


G. H. Page 


— 


P. C. Abbey 


22 


William Fuller 


— 




Rev. Ezra Butler 

Governor of Vermont, 1826—1828 

First President of the Vermont Baptist State Convention 

Born, 1763— Died, 1838 



[This is a composite picture, copyrighted by the Tuttle Company 
of Rutland, and courteously loaned for this publication.] 



C. Ayer 


2 


C. W. Safford 


19 


Philbert Contios 


13 


E. S. Greenleaf 


6 


N. C. Gushing 


— 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 391 

1896-1897 
1899-1903 
1905-1906 
1907-1910 
1911 

Two branches of this church have become independent bodies. 
In 1828, eighteen members went out to form the Baptist church in 
WilHston, the mother church of the BurHngton church. In the 
same year twenty-six members were set off to form the Baptist 
church in Huntington. 

The Hinesburg church has given of her sons a goodly number 
for the christian ministry. It gave license to Thomas Ravlin in 
1814, to Emery Hills in 1827, to Perly Work in 1837, to Solomon 
Johnson, son of W. G. Johnson, 1842; Carlton E. Miles, 1842; 
Mr. Thayer, 1860; and John S. Beecher, 1844. Mr. Beecher gave 
himself to the foreign missionary work in 1854, going out first 
under the Foreign Missionary Society, and after a few years re- 
turned to this country and went again under the Free Missionary 
Society. 

In 1827, it built a substantial house of worship, and later a 
vestry, which was used for some years, and then sold. Expensive 
repairs and improvements have been made upon their meeting- 
house from time to time. 

Among the early members, men of strong character and ear- 
nest piety, these may be mentioned: John Beecher, John Miles, 
Edmund Baldwin, Elisha Booth, Asa Moon, Philo Ray, Shubael 
Clark, (colored), Stephen Post, Joseph Stearns, Lyman Beecher. 
Descendants of four of these names, Baldwin, Beecher, Miles and 
Post have long been among the main supporters of the church. 
Membership, seventy-seven (1912). 

Waterburv 

Previous to 1791, so far as is known, there was but one pro- 
fessor of religion in the town except one woman, a Congregationalist, 
whose membership was in another place. At this time the in- 



39'i HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

habitants were few and their homes far apart. No reUgious meet- 
ings were held and Httle attention paid to this subject. In De- 
cember of that year, it pleased the Lord to arrest the attention of 
Ezra Butler to the subject of his soul's salvation. After having 
spent five or six days, and having been driven hard upon the 
borders of despair, he obtained evidence that he had passed from 
death unto life, and was enabled to go on his way rejoicing. A 
year later he was baptized by Elder Joseph Call. The next year 
David Atkins and his wife, who had moved into town from Clare- 
mont, N. H., were baptized. These three united with the Baptist 
church in Bolton. Later a few other Baptists moved into Water- 
bury without uniting with any neighboring church. About the 
year 1800, the brethren in Bolton, impressed with the need of more 
laborers in their field, which seemed to be white for the harvest, 
began offering prayer for that object, and soon became convinced 
that one of their own number was endowed with gifts fitted for 
that purpose, and that it was their duty to call Ezra Butler to 
ordination. A council was called and Mr. Butler was ordained 
in his own house in February, 1801. The next May, the few Bap- 
tists residing in Waterbury, eight or ten in all, organized a Baptist 
church there. These walking in the fear of the Lord and the com- 
fort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied, until they numbered about 
thirty. But a season of declension followed. Some apparently 
apostatized and the love of others became cold. Deacon Atkins, 
and his family, removed to Springfield, Ohio, and some to other 
parts of the land. Elder Butler's health became impaired so that 
he could not preach all the time, the ordinance of the supper was 
neglected and the church lost its visibility in 1807. 

From 1807 to 1819, there was no Baptist church in town, nor 
any great amount of Ba]3tist preaching. Spiritual interest, how- 
ever, did not wholly cease and now and then a convert was won to 
Christ. Toward the close of the winter of 1819, vWthout ajiparent 
effort on the part of christians and in the absence of the means of 
grace, the Spirit of God wrought on the hearts of the people, 
prayer meetings were held in different neighborhoods, and a num- 
ber were hopefully converted. This work proved quite deep and 
continuous. Desire for a church was awakened and on the 6th 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 393 

of August, 1819, a church was constituted, consisting of twenty 
members, with Ezra Butler, pastor; Paul Dillingham and Chester 
Whitney, deacons. The interest continuing, within a year and a 
half twenty -two were brought into church fellowship, most of 
whom were heads of families. From 1821 to 1825, on account of 
the poor health of Elder Butler and the lack of means to employ 
others, the services and ordinances were not regularly observed. 
In 1826, while general apathy prevailed, some were deeply con- 
cerned, appointed neighborhood meetings, and were given the 
spirit of prayer and exhortation. A revival followed and twelve 
were added by baptism. Meetings were held more regularly. 
Samuel Sebra, a licentiate, assisted Elder Butler. In 1831, a 
substantial brick meeting-house as erected. Special meetings 
were held, assisted by Rev. J. M. Graves. There were, however, 
some difficulties in the church of long standing, which were not 
wholly removed, although some twenty-five were added to the 
number of members and the church strengthened. 

For four or five years following, the church passed through the 
waters of affliction and trial. Elder Butler's health would not 
allow him to perform much j^astoral work. The difficulties de- 
veloped into larger proportions. In 1833, Deacons Dillingham and 
Whitney, becoming aged, were excused from official duties and 
Ezra Butler and Daniel Green, appointed in their places. Elder 
John Ide was secured as pastor, and recognized March 13, 1834. 
Deacon Green was excused from office and Erastus Parker ap- 
pointed. 

Elder Ide's ministry was fruitful and thirty-two were received 
by baptism and letter. Elder Aaron Angier was next pastor, 
1836-1839, and thirty-two were added by baptism and otherwise. 
In March, 1839, Elder Julius P. Hall was chosen pastor. Revival 
followed and fourteen were added. This pastorate continued until 
1850. The membership reached the number one hundred and one 
in 1847, and then began a decline which was somewhat rapid and 
seldom arrested. S. Gustin was pastor, 1852. I. J. Cressey, who 
became pastor in 1853, died in 1855. The meeting-house, becom- 
ing unfit for use, a new one was erected in 1858. Pason Tyler was 
l)ast()r, 1858 1861; (;. A. Hixby, 1862; L. H. llibbard, 1864-1866; 



394 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

A. N. Woodruff, 1867-1868; E. Goodspeed, 1869-1870. Then for 
ten years the church maintained a feeble existence, holding coven- 
ant meetings but seldom having preaching. Letters to the As- 
sociation became infrequent. In 1878, came the pitiful plea, "Do 
not drop us, pray for us. " In 1881, encouraged by a visit of G. S. 
Chase, missionary of the State Convention, a pastor was secured 
for one year, G. A. Wilkins. From that time the name of the church 
only (with the name of the clerk, Mrs. Mary Tyler, 1882-1883) 
was inserted in the minutes of the Association till 1896, when it 
disappeared. 

The life of Ezra Butler was so interwoven with that of the 
Waterbury Baptist church, in particular, that a fuller account of 
this remarkable man may fittingly be inscribed here. 

Mr. Butler was the son of Asaph Butler, and was born in 
Lancaster, Worcester County, Mass., September 34, 1763. He was 
the fifth of seven children, four sons and three daughters. In his 
seventh year his father moved to West Windsor, Vt., where his 
mother, whose maiden name was Jane McAllister, soon died, and 
where he spent the next seven or eight years, mainly in the family 
of his elder brother, Joel Butler. When about fourteen years of 
age, he went to live with Dr. Stearns of Claremont, N. H., as a 
laborer on his farm, and with the exception of six months, in his 
seventeenth year, when he was a soldier in the army of the Revo- 
lution, he continued in the service of Dr. Stearns, having almost 
the entire management of his farm, until he was of age. 

In 1785, having spent a few months previous in Weathersfield, 
he came to Waterbury, in company wdth his brother, Asaph, next 
older than himself. They came to Judge Paine 's in Williamstown, 
with an ox team. The rest of the way they came on snow-shoes, 
drawing their effects on a hand-sled, the snow being three or four 
feet deep. It must have been a joyful day to the Marsh family 
when these two young men, with their hand-sled, hauled up before 
their door. Their loneliness, in part at least, was ended. Mr. 
Butler and his brother immediately made their pitch, near where 
Mr. C. C. Corse afterward resided, and made a s lall clearing, 
planted it to corn, and returned to Weathersfield, where in June, 
of that year, Mr. Butler was married to Miss Tryphena Diggins. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 395 

He soon returned, and finding the title of the land on which he had 
pitched bad, he selected another right a little below the village, 
made a clearing, built a log house, and in September of 1786, 
moved into it with his wife and child, and on that place, he spent 
the remainder of his eventful life. He and his wife made their 
journey from Weathersfield on horseback, much of the way by a 
l)ridle-path, and in this way brought some of their effects, deemed 
most necessary in the matter of housekeeping. The brother, who 
first came with him, settled in Richmond, and twenty or thirty 
years later moved to the West. Mr. Marsh subsisted his family 
to a great extent, hunting and fishing, and into this })ioneer life Mr. 
Butler w^as soon initiated. Their meat was that of the moose, the 
deer, and the bear, and in their jjursuit they were often led far from 
home into the wilderness of neighboring towns, far up the mountain 
sides, not unfrequently camping out, the cold winter nights, to 
renew the chase in the morning. If faint with weariness and hun- 
ger they were ready to despair and to return with empty hands, 
the thought of a starving wife and children put new vigor into their 
limbs, new resolves into their hearts, and nerved them with the 
energy of desperation. Food they must have or perish in the pur- 
suit. It was a battle for life for themselves and their families, and 
bravely they fought it. It was a life full of thrilling adventures, 
with which, had the story of them been treasured, a volume might 
be filled. By these hardships the constitution of Mr. Butler was 
seriously impaired before he was thirty years old. 

As Mr. Marsh was drowned before the next settler arrived, 
Mr. Butler was properly regarded as the pioneer man of the town. 
Though a young man, he took prominent part in all the private 
enterprises and public movements of the town. He built the first 
framed house in town— so long occupied by his son, Russell Butler. 
To him was issued the warrant to call a meeting of the freemen of 
Waterbury, in 1790, to organize the toAMi, and at that meeting he 
was chosen town clerk. From this time the official life of Mr. 
Butler was remarkable. From this humble beginning he went 
through almost every grade to the chief magistracy of the State. 

From 1794 to 1805, with the exception of 1798, he represented 
the town in the general assembly. In 1807, he was chosen both as 



396 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

a representative and as a member of the council ; and by the record 
of votes seems to have acted part of the time in one body and a part 
in the other. In 1808, he was again elected to the council and with 
the exception of 1813 and 1814, when he was in Congress, he was 
annually re-elected to this body until 1826. 

In 1803, he was elected assistant judge of Chittenden County 
court, Waterbury, at that time belonging to that county, and was 
re-elected to that office the two following years. In 1806, he was 
elected chief judge of that court, and continued to hold that office 
until 1811. In 1811, Jefferson, now Washington County, was 
organized, and Judge Butler was elected chief judge of that county 
court, and except two years (1813 and 1814) when in Congress, he 
held that office until 1825, when the judicial system of the State 
was changed to substantially its present form, when Judge Butler 
was chosen first assistant judge of the court. 

In 1806, he was chosen a member of the council of censors, 
and in 1822, a member of the constitutional convention. In 1804, 
and again in 1820, a presidential elector. In 1812, he was elected 
a member of Congress on the Republican general ticket, along with 
James Fisk, Wm. Strong, Wm. C. Bradley, Richard Skinner and 
Charles Rich. In 1814, the candidates of the Federal party were 
elected, entirely changing the delegation from Vermont. In 1826, 
he was elected governor of the State, and reelected the following 
year, and each time wathout an organized opposition. Immedi- 
ately after his second election he declined another election, and at 
the close of that term retired from official life, having been in office, 
without interruption, from the organization of the town in 1790, 
often holding two important offices at the same time. 

In addition to these civil and political offices, he was a com- 
mittee with Elijah Paine and James Whitelaw, to fix the site for 
the first State House in Montpelier; a commissioner in 1807, with 
Samuel Shaw, John Cameron, Josiah "Wright, and Elihu Luce, to 
determine the place and plan for the State prison, and subsequently 
a commissioner to locate the State arsenal. He was a trustee of 
the University of Vermont from 1810 to 1816. Indeed, there was 
hardly an office of trust and honor in the gift of the people or legis- 
lature that he did not fill. In this respect, the career of Gov. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 397 

Butler, from an untrained pioneer, — (his schooling was limited to 
six months in his boyhood) from a hunter and trapper, up through 
almost every grade of office to the chief magistracy of the State, 
is a remarkable one and has few parallels in history. These honors 
and trusts he won by his sterling sense and honesty, and by his 
great energy and strength of will. Everybody felt that whatever 
trusts were imposed on him were safe, that whatever was given 
him to do would be done, and so they always found it. 

Mr. Butler had a religious as well as political history, and the 
former was as marked and positive as the latter. When he came 
to Waterbury, he was an irreligious and profane young man, and 
not a little disposed to quarrel with certain great doctrines, and 
so he continued for some three or four years. The story of his 
conviction and conversion is an exceedingly interesting one. At a 
time of profoundest indifference in regard to religious things, when 
he did not know of a religious man in town, and before there had 
been a Gospel sermon preached in it, his attention was called to the 
subject of personal religion in the following singular manner. 
The account has been preserved substantially in the words of one 
who received it from his own lips: "Being obliged to work hard 
during the week, and there being no public worship in town which 
he could attend, if he desired, he was in the habit of spending much 
of the Sabbath in sleep. On a certain Sabbath, awaking from his 
sleej), he found his wife reading a })amphlet, and proposed to read 
it aloud for the benefit of both. The beginning and end of the 
])ami)hlot were gone, and he never knew whence it came, what was 
its title, or who its author. But he found it treated of a subject 
which in former times had given him great perj^lexity, viz., how a 
man could be l)Iameable for a disposition which he did not create. 
He would admit the justice of God in punishing overt acts, but not 
wrong propensities. The author he was reading made it ai)pear 
that we are justly condemned for wrong dispositions as well as 
wrong actions. After reading awhile, he exclaimed to his wife, 
' If this is true, we are undone. ' In a moment all the convictions 
he had formerly had turned upon him and he was cast into the 
dee])est anxiety. After days of profoundest darkness and sharpest 
distress. Ijordcriiig on despair, he was brought into clear light and 



398 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

liberty of the Gospel. His feet having been set in the way of life 
he walked circumspectly in that way to the end." 

His was the first conversion in Waterbury. A few days after 
his conversion. Rev. Mr. Call, a Baptist minister from Woodstock, 
came along and preached the first sermon in Waterbury. iVbout 
a year after this, Mr. Butler was baptized by the Rev. Mr. Call 
and united with the Baptist church in Bolton. At the organiza- 
tion of the Baptist church in Waterbury, in 1800 or 1801, Mr. 
Butler was ordained as its pastor, and amid the multitude of his 
civil offices he continued to discharge the duties of this office until 
within a few years of his death, and that without salary or re- 
mmieration. In all the conflicts of party politics, and all the labors 
and perplexities of official life, it is said the meekness and dignity 
and propriety of the Gospel ministry never forsook him. He 
walked uprightly, and with serious christian deportment, amid 
them all. Well may his children venerate his name and the com- 
munity hold him in lasting remembrance. 

His form was slightly stooping, his complexion dark and 
sallow, and his whole appearance quite unprepossessing; but his 
penetrating black eye and the calm tones of his voice, quickly told 
of intellect and will of no common order. He died July 12, 1838, 
in the seventy-fifth year of his age. 

Burlington 

The Baptist church in Burlington cannot be classed among 
the pioneer churches. While in many less promising places 
churches were coming into vigorous life, Burlington was taxing the 
faith of a few residents, and the benevolence of sister churches. 
The township was chartered in 1763, by Governor Wentworth. 
An attempt to effect a settlement was made in 1775, but the Revo- 
lutionary war, breaking out about the same time, the settlers were 
driven back by the Indians, and ore of the number killed. In the 
spring of 1783, the first permanent settlement was effected by six 
or eight families from Massachusetts, New Ham})shire and Con- 
necticut. 

From that time till 1800, the population ii creased from forty 




Hon. Lawrence Barnes 

A pillar in Burlington Baptist Church, a power in the state 
Born, 1815— Died. 1886 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 399 

to six hundred. From 1783 or 1784, no traces of a solitary christian 
can l)e found, and the Gospel was preached only occasionally, as 
missionaries chanced to pass by. In 1795, Mr. Lee, a Congrega- 
tional minister from Connecticut, visited the place, and remained 
something more than a year. Mr. Lee found but four professors 
in a population of near five hundred. His labors were crowned 
with a measure of success. For nine years after he left, the place 
remained destitute of stated preaching. The names of Kingsbury, 
Gartu and Williams are mentioned as occasional supplies, up to 
the time when Mr. Saunders entered the presidency of Vermont 
University, who then became the religious instructor of the peo- 
ple, and continued as such until the organization of the Congrega- 
tional church, in 1815. 

The first settlers were reckless of the interests of religion. 
There is no evidence of the erection of a single family altar before 
1800, and as late as 1802, at the funeral of a respectable person, 
not a man could be found to engage in prayer, and no house of 
public worship was erected until 1811. 

Records have been searched in vain for a single member of a 
Baptist church before 1823. From that time till 1830, a few traces 
of our brethren have been found. 

The first member of a Baptist church, of which any informa- 
tion has been obtained as a resident of Burlington, was a Sister 
Boyington, whose husband was not a professor. She was a very 
devoted sister. Elder Phineas Culver was probably the first Bap- 
tist minister who ever proclaimed the Gospel in Burlington. Some 
circumstances led to his acquaintance with Sister Boyington, 
when she solicited him to "come over and help," and it is believed 
that his first sermon was delivered in her house, and the great 
probal)ility is that she was the germ from which Baptist interests 
sprung in this town. Elder Culver continued to j^reach occasion- 
ally in the academy, which was generally filled with attentive 
hearers. 

Soon after this, lirethren Pangborn and Ebenezer Bartlett 
settled in the village. A few sisters came about the same time. 
Tiiese met often together. Elder Peter (^hase made them a visit, 
probably about 1825 or 1826, and commenced preaching in the 
court house, and continued his labors for some time. 



400 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

Left without a leader, the httle company felt keenly their 
destitution and began to rally and to cry to Heaven for help, and 
finally came to the resolution that whatever came they would 
throw themselves upon the promises of God, and ask their breth- 
ren to constitute them into a branch church, under such regulations 
as they might deem proper. 

The church was finally organized by advice of a council as 
a branch of the Williston church, provided that church extended 
to them their fellowship as such, January 5, 1830, with power to 
transact any church business save the final exclusion of members. 
The persons composing this branch were six, viz. : Ebenezer Bart- 
lett, Tera Pangborn, Esther Pangborn, Rebua Bartlett, Lucy 
Wainwright, Ruth Cheney. Terah Pangborn was appointed their 
first clerk, and they adopted the Articles of Faith of the Danville 
Association. This church was received into the fellowship of the 
Williston church, August 13, 1830, and into the fellowship of the 
Fairfield Association soon after its organization, and with other 
churches was dismissed for the purpose of forming the Onion River 
Association. 

Few, poor, and without a place of worship, the church began 
its organized work. Brother E. Hill, a licentiate of the Williston 
church, was their first preacher. Elders J. M. Graves, x\lvah 
Sabin, M. Cheney, and Elder Winegar of Hamilton, N. Y., sup- 
plied now and then. Baptism and the Lord's Supper were first 
administered, April 18, 1830, by Elder Graves. 

Elder Gregory Norris became their first pastor, July 24, 1834, 
and on the 26th day of September, w4th the advice of a council, 
the church was recognized as an independent church. The con- 
stituent members, eleven in number, were as follows : 

Elder Gregory Norris, Benja. D. Hinman, 

Mrs. Norris, Abigail Hinman, 

Charles Benns, George W^ells, 

Isabella Benns, Lucy Wainwright, 

E. Bartlett, Silva Proctor, 

Lorinda Merritt. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 401 

For five years, the little church, being almost without pastoral 
watchcare, maintained a precarious existence. Hex. INIr. Norris, 
who had been laboring with them previous to their organization, 
took his departure two months afterward. Rev. John H. Walden, 
who accepted a call to the pastorate in June, 1836, resigned in 
September of the same year. In June, 1835, Rev. Hiram D. Hodge 
became pastor and resigned at the expiration of nine months; but 
not without seeing the church doubled, numerically, by the recep- 
tion to its fellowship of sixteen by baptism and two who brought 
letters from other churches. In August, 1840, Rev. Hiram Saflford 
was chosen pastor. Hitherto, the church had worshipped in a 
chapel on Colchester Avenue, liuilt for their use by Charles Benns, 
one of the constituent members, and rented to them at a nominal 
price. At length, stimulated by the earnest encouragement and 
guided by the wise counsel of Mr. Satford, the church purchased a 
lot, and undertook the erection of a house of worship, on the south- 
west corner of Church and Main streets. Before, however, the 
little band were able to complete this enterprise, they were bereaved 
of their pastor, who died July 28, 1844, aged fifty -three years. The 
work of this consecrated man was not long, but was so fruitful of 
important results as to make him worthy of special mention. He 
came to the Burlington church when the church was poor, and few, 
and overshadowed by Congregational, Unitarian, and Methodist 
churches, and also by the University of Vermont, which was 
officered by Congregational professors. He preached in an old 
academy for some time. His congregations were small and the 
church had been struggling for some eight or ten years A\ath its 
head just above water. He encouraged his people to build a meet- 
ing-house. He circulated the sul)scription in the town and the 
neighboring towns, and as he was a mechanic himself, he supervised 
the building of the house, collected the subscrij)tion, and paid for 
the material and paid the workmen. The ett'ort was a noble, self- 
sacrificing effort. Brother Satt'ord was a noble gentleman and he 
had the entire respect of all the christian comnuinity of Hurlinglon, 
and was tenderly beloved by all who knew him. 

In January, 1845, Rev. I. II. Parker became pastor and en- 
tered with earnestness upon the c()in])letion of tiic house of worship. 



402 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

This was speedily accomplished and the dedication took place on 
the 3d day of April, ensuing. Mr. Parker resigned after a fruitful 
ministry in November, 1852. Rev. Leonard Tracy became pastor 
in March, 1853. The protracted illness of his family compelled 
him to resign in February, 1*^5, to the great regret of the church. 
Mr. H. H. Burrington was ordained December 27, of the same year, 
a man of frail health who served two years. In January, 1858, 
Rev. N. P. Foster took pastoral charge of the church, which he re- 
tained eight years. His pastorate was marked by an interesting 
revival, in which thirty -five were baptized into the fellowship of the 
church. The period of this pastorate was characterized by a sub- 
stantial growth in material resources, which manifested itself in the 
erection of a new and superior house of worship in a more favorable 
locality, on St. Paul street, at a cost of $32,550. The dedication 
took place December 15, 1864. In January, Mr. Foster resigned 
and the church remained without a pastor one year. During this 
interval, however, they enjoyed manifest tokens of divine favor. 
There was developed in the Sunday school, under the superin- 
tendency of Deacon E. A. Fuller, such a degree of religious interest 
that the church had recourse to Rev. A. B. Earle, the evangelist, 
for assistance in reaping the evidently ripened harvest. The labors 
of Mr. Earle, though of brief duration, were attended with the 
blessing of God and large numbers were added to the church. In 
February, 1867, Monson A. Wilcox became pastor and was ordained 
the 25th of April, follow^ng. 

In the autumn of the same year, a mission school was started, 
and the erection of a chapel on Water street projected. This was 
speedily acco nplished and dedicated January 9, 1868. The 
school, which commenced with an attendance of six, so increased, 
under the superintendency of George E. Davis, as to tax, not un- 
frequently, the capacity of the chapel. In April, 1875, Mr. Davis 
resigned his position as superintendent and in 1877, this w^ork was 
discontinued. In July, 1870, the church was incorporated with 
the cordial consent of the society, which had previously had charge 
of its business affairs. Early in the same year enlargement of the 
house of worship became a necessity, and it was extended one-half 
its original dimensions, securing a main audience room, seating 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 403 

seven hundred and thirty, and in the vestry, accommodations for 
five hundred or six hundred persons. The cost of this enlargement 
exceeded $23,000, giving a total value of $55,550 to the enlarged 
structure, which was dedicated to the worship of God, January 1, 
1871. 

The same winter, fifty -eight converts were baptized. In the 
autumn of 1872, the church estabhshed a French Mission, in a 
chapel, presented by Deacon Mial Davis for that purpose. Rev. 
A. L. Therrien of St. Pie, Canada, was secured as leader of this 
mission. The first French converts were baptized May 3, 1874. 
In 1876, financial embarrassments constrained the church to seek 
the aid of the American Baptist Home Mission Society in the 
prosecution of this French work. 

In 1879, the mission experienced an interesting spiritual re- 
freshing, which resulted in the accession of several converts. Mr. 
Therrien relinquished the work in July, 1879, to take up the work 
in Grande Ligne Mission, and Rev. J. Rossier immediately as- 
sumed charge of the mission, which continued for a time to prosper, 
but after awhile was given up. 

In the winter of 1875, there was a gracious spiritual quickening, 
and forty -eight persons were baptized, and the Sunday school be- 
came so large as to need extension of its accommodations. 

The church has been greatly favored with the wise counsels of 
its deacons. The names of those who have held this office, and the 
dates of their appointments and retirement, are as follows : 

Charles Benns, Septeml)er, 1834, to January, 1845; Daniel 
Stearns, December, 1839, to 1841; Azariah Lee, August, 1844, 
died Fel)ruary, 1851; William Hawkins, April, 1845, to June, 1854; 
Isaac Austin, April, 1847, to January, 1849; Milo Fuller, Fel)ruary, 
1854, to March, 1854; Eliashib A. Fuller, June, 1854; Dandy 
Fletcher, June, 1854, to February, 1856; George Duncan, June, 
1856, to July, 1857; Mial Davis, March, 1861, to December, 1878; 
John Tennant, December, 1867, died March, 1868; Lawrence 
Barnes, March, 1871; Samuel Bigwood, March, 1871; Volney G. 
Bar})our, March, 1871, to May, 1873. 

The following persons have believed themselves called to the 
work of the ministry and have been licensed by the church : 



404 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

Frank W. Ryder, September 4, 1873; Gaylord B. Smith, 
August 13, 1874; Samuel W. Nichols, August 14, 1874; John C. 
Bracq, April 8, 1880; Mr. Ryder was ordained at Rockport, Maine, 
August, 1876; Mr. Smith was ordained at Plainfield, N. H., June, 
1877. 

Mr. Nichols was ordained at Essex, N. Y., in September, 
1877; and in the autumn of the following year, sailed with his wife, 
the daughter of Lyman Jewett, D. D., to Madras, to labor among 
the Telugus. Mr. Bracq was converted from the errors of Roman- 
ism in the summer of 1875, studied at McGill University, and gave 
himself to the foreign mission work. 

The Baptist church in Burlington, beginning its existence with 
very limited resources, early asked the aid of the Vermont Baptist 
State Convention, and for a period of twenty years, previous to 
1859, received large appropriations for the support of its ministry. 
Sometime between 1850 and 1860, the Convention Board appointed 
a special committee to investigate the wisdom of having a Baptist 
church in Burlington and of longer continuing aid to it. Rev. 
L. A. Dunn was chairman of that committee, and went to Burling- 
ton on a prayer meeting night, to meet the people and inform them 
that the Convention Board had decided that a Baptist church was 
not really needed in Burlington, and could no longer be aided from 
the Convention funds. The thirteen members fell upon their 
knees, and one after another besought Almighty God in some way 
to carry on the work, and help them to maintain a New Testament 
church in Burlington. When all had prayed. Elder Dunn was so 
moved with their sincerity and determination, that he reversed 
his decision, and told them to go on, and the Convention Board 
would help them. In 1856, Lawrence Barnes began business in 
Burlington, and shortly after jmt in money enough so that the 
church could get along without Convention aid, and from that 
time until the present, has continued to grow numerically, spirit- 
ually, and financially, so that it now has about five hundred mem- 
bers, and is one of the most generous supporters of the State Con- 
vention. LaAvrence Barnes moved from New Hampshire to Bur- 
lington in 1861, as the business which he established in 1856, had 
greatly increased and prospered, and he became Burlington's fore- 




Deacon- Willahd Chaxk, Burlington 
Menil)(>r of Convention Board for thirty-three years 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 405 

most citizen, and always proved himself an earnest christian and 
a true philanthropist, and after his death, Willard Crane and D. G. 
Crane stepped into the breach and for many years have given much 
time and thought to the work, and been by far the largest con- 
tributers for the support of preaching and the expenses of the 
church. 

The Burlington church has long since cancelled its pecuniary 
obligations to the State Convention, by its liberal contributions 
to that missionary body. It has been the aim of this church to 
maintain vital interest in the principal enterprises of christian 
benevolence, and in the progress of the Redeemer's kingdom 
throughout the world. It established, at a very early period and 
still continues to cherish, a monthly concert of prayers for missions. 

Pastors 

John H. Walden, June, 1836, to September, 1836; Hiram 
Dodge, June, 1839, to February, 1840; Hiram Safford, August, 
1840, to July, 1844; H. U. Parker, January, 1845, to November, 
1852; Leonard Tracy, March, 1853, to February, 1855; H. H. Bur- 
rington, August 1856, to August, 1857; N. P. Foster, January, 
1858, to January, 1866; Monson A. Wilcox, February, 1867, to 
1880; F. J. Parry, 1882, to 1886; F. S. McFarlan, 1887, to 1890; 
W. S. Roberts, D. D., 1891, to 1902; F. Dee Penny, 1903, to 1910; 
J. S. Braker, 1911. 

Suggestive of the evangelistic efi'orts of this church, within the 
last thirty years, there have been received into the church by bap- 
tism, eight hundred and twenty-five persons. The benevolent 
contributions, as reported in the minutes for the same period, 
total $21,443. Present total membership (1912), four hundred 
and eighty-three. 

East Enosburg 

The East Enosburg church o])served its centennial October 
26, 1910. Pastor Rev. William J. Clark gave the historical address, 
a part of which is here given. It must be said of the history of the 



406 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

past century in this place, as of so many others, that it has been one 
of constant struggle. Or to put it in the words of Deacon T. T. 
Snell, "part of the time we have been swimming, and part of the 
time we have been swimming with our heads scarcely above water, 
yet we have kept on swimming. " The first Baptist knowTi to have 
lived in town was Joseph Waller. ,, He moved here February, 1806. 
Others soon joined him, and steps were taken looking toward 
church organization, which took place on the 26th of October, 
1810. There were ten constituent members. There is no record 
of there having been a pastor till 1812, and then only for a brief 
season. During long periods the church was pastorless, and dur- 
ing other periods it had preaching one-fourth or one-half the time. 
However, year by year, some additions are reported and the church 
grew, till in 1833, it had forty-seven members. This gain was in 
spite of distracting difficulties, one of which was likened to the 
severing of a limb to save the body. In 1835, a few churches in this 
region organized what was called the East Enosburg Conference, 
a sort of circuit preaching, in the bounds of which Brethren Cole, 
Flint and Chase, labored. The first year, 1835, Brethren Cole and 
Flint, worked among the seven churches of the circuit and their 
ministry was specially blessed to this church and eleven converts 
were baptized. The second year. Brethren FHnt, Beeman, and 
Chase, were engaged on the circuit and a revival followed in Fair- 
field. But the third year the circuit preaching was discontinued, 
because there \Aere a few who opposed it. The churches were 
urged each to settle its owti pastor. During this time, however, 
a continued healthy growth was maintained and the membership 
became fifty -three, in 1841. 

At this time, there was in this church much sympathy for the 
slaves, some members of the church having been members of the 
Anti -Slavery Society from its origin. 

But now there came a sudden reverse in the continued pros- 
perity of the church. The church voted to discontinue meetings 
when they had no pastor. Perhaps the men of that day did not 
realize the full purport of this action, but to one reading the records 
today, it seems like the first great turning point in the church's 
history. It seemingly makes a cooling of that warm spirituality 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 407 

which had previously characterized the church. However, the 
church kept together and in October, 1842, Rev. R. A. Hodge be- 
came pastor. For the next ten years httle was done. During 
the latter part of the decade they had preaching only one-fourth of 
the time. During the next six years, the work appears to have been 
nearly abandoned. On May 2, 1858, Rev. J. W. Buzzell was called 
to the pastorate for one-half of the time. He went from house to 
house, hunting out the places where spirituality had been hibernat- 
ing and bringing it again to the light of day. By faithful effort 
and prayer he gave the church the impetus which has made what 
it has since become. 

In July, 1858, the East Enosburg and the West Enosburg 
churches united and a revival followed. In May, 1860, twenty- 
five baptisms are recorded. A new meeting-house was built and 
dedicated about December 20, 1 860.) A burdensome debt remained 
a few years, but was finally cancelled by the generosity and firmness 
of Deacon Snell, who said, "If you will pay the whole debt I will 
give $50, and a friend will give a like amount. If the whole is not 
paid I will not give a cent. " The debt was paid and the property 
deeded, with reversionary clause, to the State Convention. 

During the early sixties, this community sent out its quota of 
men to the army. They were accompanied by the active sympathy, 
interest and prayers of the church. The clerk of the church was 
appointed to hold correspondence A\'ith the brethren in the army 
and the church voted to look after the families of the soldiers who 
belonged to the church and provide for them if necessary. This 
correspondence brought its replies from the men at the front and 
cemented the bonds of fellowshi]) which had previously existed and 
thus was a benefit to the men at home as well as to those in the 
army. 

Another revival season is mentioned, with special interest, that 
was about 1882 or 1883, when Rev. G. W. Schofield was mightily 
used of Ciod as a messenger of life. 

The church bell was given by David Stebbins, in monu)ry of 
his mother. At the same time he left $200 in cash. During the 
recent years the church has suffered gradual diminishing in num- 
bers by death and removals. The present resident nu'inl)ership 



408 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

is seventeen. Three men have been ordained by the church and 
two young men have entered preparatory studies for the ministry. 
In 1907, the church was closed. In 1908, it was reopened and Rev. 
Wm. J. Clark chosen to work with this, in connection with the 
Enosl)urg Falls church. At the dawn of the new century the out- 
look is encouraging. 

Berkshire 

January 3, 1905, a small church was constituted and recog- 
nized in Berkshire. After adding eighteen to their membership, 
they secured the services of Elder William Rogers a part of the 
time. There are no records of any other preachers until 1809, 
but from other circumstances, and from the records of the St. 
Armand church, it is probable that Rev. William Galusha did 
preach to them part of the time from 1806 to 1809, when Rev. 
Moses Ware was installed pastor and preached for a number of 
years, until 1813. There are no records after that time to show 
what became of the church. From the minutes of the Richmond 
Association, we find that in 1813 a committee was appointed by 
that body to inquire into the character of their former minister, 
Moses Ware. In 1814, this committee reported that they had 
made what inquiry they thought proper, relative to the character of 
Elder Ware, and they found nothing proved against him, whereby 
his character could be impeached. It is quite likely that the trou- 
ble, which gave occasion for the appointment of this committee, 
had something to do with the disbanding of this church. 

Berkshire, Second Church 

In 1817, another council was called in Berkshire, to recognize 
as a Baptist church, nine brethren and nine sisters who had banded 
together for that purpose. Ira Smith was appointed deacon and 
Cromwell Bowin, clerk. Rev. William Rogers and William 
Galusha preached to them part of the time. Their covenant meet- 
ings and preaching services were held in dwelling-houses and school- 
houses till 1827, when, in connection with the Congregationalists, 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 409 

Methodists and Universalists, they built a meeting-house, owned 
by the four denominations jointly, and occupied by each a quarter 
of the time. On December 29, this house was dedicated, and in 
January following, Rev. William Arthur was called and commenced 
labor in the new house. His work was greatly blessed and this 
year t^^•enty-four were added by baptism and seven by letter. 
Eleven were dismissed the same year. Arthur remained two or 
three years. Rev. Mr. Rockwell served one year, when Peter Chase 
became pastor in 1835, and continued till 1841. He was assisted 
in 1839, by Rev. Mr. Baldwin, and twenty -two united this year by 
baptism and four l)y letter, making the total membership, fifty- 
nine. In 1841, Rev. Albert Stone commenced pastoral work and 
continued till 1843, when the Millerite excitement arose and the 
pastor was carried away with it. The church was pastorless for a 
short time. Isaac Cressey came and preached so acceptably that 
he was ordained in 1846. In 1848, Rev. F. N. Jersey was secured 
and served till 1851 . 

A protracted season of depression followed. Removals and 
deaths were saddening. Rev. S. Adams, a theological student, 
supplied in 1854. J. W. Buzzell, A. L. Arms and Geo. Parker, a 
licentiate, preached from 1860 to 1867. A great blow came to the 
church that year when the church in East Franklin was organized 
ai d twenty members of the Berkshire church were dismissed, to 
unite at East Franklin. The same year. Deacon Jasper Chaffee, 
a strong pillar in the church, died. This reduced the membership 
to sixteen. 

During the decade, 1870 1880, they were under the pr.storal 
care of E. Ashton, E. P. Merrifield, A. L. Arms, David F. Estes, 
M. G. Smith, J. S. Goodall and G. S. Chase. From 1880 till 1885, 
Rev. A. L. Arms served as pastor, and during the years 1886, 
1887, 1888, 1889, Rev. William G. Schofield, of Richford, gave 
them preaching and pastoral care. Since this time, the church has 
not sustained regular preaching and has not reported to the As- 
sociation. In 1888, the subject of building a new meeting-house 
was strongly agitated. Mr. Schofield helped to secure pledges of 
money for this puri)ose and succeeded in getting $1800 subscribed. 
A building lot was secured and it was confidently ex])ected that 



410 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

a new meeting-house would be built that year. But through the 
inaction of the building committee, nothing was done. The op- 
position of some, who wanted another union meeting-house, was 
apparently the cause of the inaction, and from that time many 
lost interest in the church. 

Franklin 

Franklin began to be settled about 1816, and a few Baptists 
were among the inhabitants, but there is no evidence of any 
attempt to organize a Baptist church there previous to 1831. 
In 18'26, Elder John Spaulding became a resident of the town and 
preached in parts of it, though his labors were chiefly in other places, 
till the spring of 1831, when he thought he saw signs of spiritual 
interest, especially in the northern part, and his mind was strongly 
impressed that there was a field ready for the harvest. He began 
laboring there with increasing interest. A powerful revival fol- 
lowed, which appeared to be at its height in November, though the 
interest did not subside till the next summer. Among the one 
thousand, one hundred and thirty inhabitants, near two hundred 
were thought to be converted within a year, and about one hun- 
dred joined some religious society. Some of the few Baptists, 
the older ones, thought the time had come to set up a Baptist 
church. About September 1, a covenant meeting was held in the 
house of Job Prouty. Six persons only were ready to take up the 
cross of setting up a standard diflferent from all the other denomina- 
tions. These were J. Spaulding and his wife, members of the 
Enosburg Falls church, Dorcas Glover and Harriet Giddings, of 
St. Armand church, Mary Shepard, of Rupert, and Lydia Bradley, 
of Fairfield church. These appointed a similar meeting every 
other Saturday. At the third meeting a convert told her experi- 
ence and was baptized into the Enosburg Falls church. At the 
next meeting, Dr. Levi Cushman, an influential citizen of the place, 
and his wife, members of the Baptist church in Chester, N. Y., and 
Esq. Clark Rogers, who had long been a citizen of the town, with 
his wife, aged people, who, in their younger days, had lived in 
Hancock, Maine, and were members of the Baptist church there, 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 411 

joined the little band. Their number was twelve. These called 
a council which met October 26, 1831, and approved of their 
organizing as a church and gave them fellowship. In about six 
weeks, the number was doubled by baptisms. The next September, 
it joined the Fairfield Association. Its numbers increased to 
forty-two, in 1833. From that time began serious losses by dis- 
mission and a few by defection. Elder Spaulding became super- 
annuated and by 1841 the church was extinct. 

East Franklin 

The Baptist church in East Franklin was organized and recog- 
nized as a church, June 11, 1867, by a council called by twenty 
brethren and sisters, who were dismissed from the East Berkshire 
church for this purpose. G. H. Parker was pastor till May, 1869; 
E. A. Ashton, till February, 1870; E. P. Merrifield, May, 1870, to 
May, 1872. No regular preaching till July, 1874; G. M. Smith, 
one-fourth of the time for one year; G. S. Chase, half of the time; 
A. L. Arms, alternate Sundays, 1885-1893; W. G. Schofield, 1885- 
1893; A. Darrach, 1894. No report to the Association since 1894. 
Membership then, ten. Largest number, twenty -nine. The 
church up to 1895, and it may l)e, longer, sustained covenant meet- 
ings and bore their part in maintaining union Sunday school. 

West Bolton 

This church was organized, Fel)ruary 16, 1843, with thirty- 
nine members, as the Second Baptist church of Jericho, and was 
so-called till 1862, when it was changed to the Baptist church and 
society of West Bolton, and in 1873, it became an incorporated 
church. The first pastor was Elder I. Huntley, who preached one- 
half the time till August, 1845, and perhaps longer; the records do 
not say. In August, 1847, Elder S. Parker was pastor. July, 
1848, Rev. Wm. S. Hurlbut l>ecame i)astor and i)reached one-third 
and one-half the time for twelve years. He died in the place where 
he had so long and faithfully served, February 13, 1887. In Nov- 
ember, 1860, Brother H. C. Lcavitt commenced ])reaching and 



412 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

February, 1861, he was ordained pastor and continued to labor 
with the church until October, 1864. 

In the winter of 1865, L. L. Wood, a student from Burhng- 
ton College, was hired to preach half the time.' He continued till 
1866, and then went to Hamilton, N. Y., to study theology. In 
March, Rev. L. B, Steele was hired to preach all the time. His 
was a prosperous pastorate of about eight years. A good number 
were received by baptism. He was assisted, in 1872, by an evan- 
gelist. Rev. J. Peacock. During this pastorate the church edifice 
was built. For four years after Mr. Steele went away the church 
was without a pastor. Sermons were read. Elder Hurlbut 
preached when he was able. He was aged and nearly blind, but 
he kept the church together, administering the ordinances and 
preaching the Gospel. January, 1879, Rev. A. A. Davis became 
pastor, preaching half the time till April, 1881, when Rev. De F. 
SaflPord became pastor. From June, 1883, till January, 1888, 
Brother P. C. Abbey preached with acceptance as a supply. In 
1889, had preaching but twice by visiting brethren. Rev. Richard 
Nott, of Burlington, was the next supply, 1890. They were then 
visited by Brother H. Rider, who came as a colporteur and held 
meetings and visited from house to house. He was aided by Rev. 
A. McGeorge and God blessed their united labors. Seven were 
baptized. A Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor was 
organized. For several years the church was without pastoral 
care, but improved their house of worship and maintained church 
life. They shared the pastoral care of the Jericho minister, Rev. 
O. N. Bean, 1900-1902, and G. W. Campbell, 1904. Since then, 
they have had but such occasional supplies as the State Convention 
can furnish in summer by students and helpers. The church, 
however, though pastorless and with a membership of but fourteen, 
sustains a Sunday school, and two prayer meetings and a young 
people's meeting, and attend the services of the Methodist church 
in town. 

St. Albans 

The first regular service of the Baptist denomination held in 
St. Albans took place December 17, 1865, in the chapel of the court 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 413 

house, Rev. J. F. Bigelow conducting the service, at the suggestion 
and with the assistance of the Baptist State Convention. On 
January 17, 1866. a Baptist church was organized, consisting of 
twenty-jBve meml)ers, six brethren and nineteen sisters. An 
Ecclesiastical council, held in the court house, January 31, gave the 
name of the First Baptist church of St. Albans to the new organiza- 
tion. The first church officers were Rev. J. F. Bigelow, D. D., 
pastor; M. D. Walker and Marshall Mason, deacons; L. J. Swett, 
clerk; and S. S. Robinson, treasurer. A Sunday school was at once 
organized and also a missionary concert and Thursday evening 
prayer meeting. In May, 1867, Dr. Bigelow resigned, having per- 
formed the initial work of organizing a church. His signal aliility, 
fine scholarship and christian courtesy gained for him the regard, 
not only of the church and society, but of all denominations of 
christians. For about a year and a half the church was dependent 
upon supplies, and held its meetings in the court house, which was 
its meeting place for seven years. November, 1868, W. G. Walker, 
a graduate of Hamilton, commenced his pastorate and was ordained 
to the christian ministry, January, 1869. He remained only one 
year. Seventeen had then been added by letter and till June the 
church was again dependent on supplies. 

In June, 1870, Rev. M. G. Smith, under the auspices of the 
State Convention, whose general agent he had been elected, com- 
menced labor here as pastor, doing very much in addition to his 
pastoral duties in securing funds for building a church edifice and 
enlisting the interest of others in the enterprise. The cornerstone 
of the new church was laid September 9, 1871, and the vestry 
finished and dedicated August, 1873, after which public services 
were held there until the whole work w^as completed. 

In September, 1873, Rev. M. G. Smith, having seen the church 
occupying the new vestry, was called elsewhere by the Convention, 
leaving many devoted friends, who were called, not long after, to 
mourn his death. During his pastorate, seventeen were added l\v 
baptism and twenty -three by letter. Till al)()ut this time the Con- 
vention had aided the church. Now it became self-sup})orting and 
helpful in l)enev()lent enterprises. In May, 1874, Rev. J. A. John- 
.son commenced labor as pastor. On tiie twenty-eighth of the 



414 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

following December, the whole church edifice was finished and 
dedicated free of debt, through the generosity of Lansing Millis, 
Esq., prominent Baptists in the State; and townsmen of other de- 
nominations, helping to provide one of the pleasantest church edi- 
fices in the State. Mr. Johnson remained pastor until January, 
1878. During the three years and more of this pastorate, the 
church had received thirty-six by baptism and twenty by letter, 
reaching a membership of one hundred and eight. Seven died 
among them. Deacon D. M. Walker, had been identified with 
the church from the beginning and had served as clerk nearly 
all the time, till his last illness compelled him to resign. 

Rev. Geo. S. Pratt was next pastor, commencing labor April, 

1878, and continuing till March 13, 1887 — a period of aggressive, 
vigorous work on the part of both pastor and people. In January, 

1879, a series of well-sustained meetings, continuing ten weeks, 
resulted in the accession of fifty-one members; forty-one by bap- 
tism. May 10, 1883, the church edifice was destroyed by fire, and 
about three years later, a new church edifice had been dedicated, 
and a parsonage built at a cost, in round numbers, of $3,500. 
From this pastorate Mr. Pratt went over to the Episcopalians. 

Rev. Geo. A. Smith, of the First Baptist church in Saratoga, 
w^as next pastor, February 28, 1887, to June, 1889. Shortly after 
his dismission, his letter of dismission was recalled and proceedings 
instituted against him for unchristian conduct. On advice of the 
Lamoille Association the church called a council, the charges were 
investigated and sustained, the hand of fellowship withdrawn, and 
the pastor deposed from the Gospel ministry. The church rallied 
nobly to the work after this crushing experience and were lovingly 
led by Rev. L. S. Johnson, from September, 1889, till September, 
1891, when ill health compelled the separation between the church 
and this faithful pastor. 

Rev. E. D. Croft was pastor from October 8, 1891, to October 
13, 1893, and was succeeded by Rev. Chas. McGlauchlin, whose 
pastorate was from April 5, 1894, to April, 1895. This half decade 
was one of serious trouble. At the close of the first pastorate, the 
church was divided and some thirty or more of those who had been 
active and influential in the church work withdrew from the body. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IX VERMONT 4 15 

Mr. McGlauchlin 's habits, confessedly irregular, brought rej)roach 
upon himself and the church and caused his retirement from this 
pastorate. Rev. W. H. H. Avery was then invited to this field 
from Upper Alton, 111., and began pastoral work in July. He 
found the church disheartened and well-nigh ready to give up all, 
but the mem})ership rallied about him, put away dififerences, en- 
gaged in special meetings, and within a year seventeen members 
had been received, harmony restored and strong hopes awakened 
of a prosperous future. This pastorate continued till 1903. Sub- 
stantial accessions were made to the membership, nota])ly in 1899, 
when twenty-five were received by baptism and six by letter. The 
membership attained one hundred and forty-one, notAnthstanding 
the roll had been carefully revised and numbers dropped, and, more 
serious than all, within four years, more than twenty-five families 
connected with the church and congregation removed from town, 
reducing considerably the finan(;ial strength of the church and mak- 
ing appeal to the Convention for generous support a necessity. 
Since 1904, the Convention has appropriated $300 annually to sus- 
tain this important work. Rev. John ('ameron succeeded Mr. 
Avery, serving till 1905, when Rev. J. S. Brown was called from 
Manchester, Vt., and began courageously leading the church in 
aggressive work. The church has an exceedingly pleasant place of 
worship and parsonage property. 

Essex Junction 

Established first as a mission. From May, 1877, until May, 
1880, Rev. J. A. Leavitt was pastor. In 1878, began the erection 
of a meeting-house and finished the chapel for innnediate use and 
comi)leted the house in 1889. The Essex church dismissed twenty- 
four members in 1879, to form a Baptist church in Essex Junction. 
The church was organized July 5, 1879, and recognized by a coun- 
cil November 4, 1879; admitted to the Lamoille Association, Sep- 
tember 1, 1880. The first report of the church is as follows: 
Baptisms, ten; letter, two; dismissed, two; total, thirty-four; resi- 
dent members, thirty-four; Sunday school officers, ten; pupils, 
sixty; average atten(lanc(>, forty-two. 



416 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

Pastors: Rev. I. Coombs, 1880, to May, 1882; W. Gussman, 
January, 1883, to January, 1885; S. E. Miller, January, 1889, to 
1897; D. D. Owen, 1899, to 1902; W. F. Sturdevant, 1903, to 1904; 
N. A. Wood, 1905, to 1909; I. M. Compton, 1910. 

This church has had its trials and discouragements, but the 
field is an important one, and the Convention has given liberal ap- 
propriations and encouragements to it. 

The following tragic incident is a part of the history of the 
Lamoille Association. 

Davidsonism 

In September, 1829, a man by the name of Davidson called 
on Elkana Reed, who lived in the southeast part of Fairfield. 
Elkana Reed was a prominent member of the Congregational 
church in Bakersfield. Mr. Davidson introduced himself as a 
Congregational missionary, and as there was quite a settlement in 
the neighborhood, part in Bakersfield and part in Fairfield, that 
were some distance from any stated place of worship, Mr. Reed 
asked him to preach in their neighborhood. He readily consented; 
the appointment was circulated; the neighborhood gathered, and 
Davidson preached, much to the acceptance of the people. The 
next evening he preached in the same place to a larger congregation, 
and all were much interested. He then, by invitation, appointed 
a meeting on Friday evening at a schoolhouse in an adjoining 
neighborhood, in the south part of Bakersfield. A good congrega- 
tion assembled, and all seemed highly pleased with the new 
preacher. His sermons were a little peculiar, as he dwelt mainly 
on the prophecies, but they were of a high order; they exhibited 
great study and research; they were finely arranged, and delivered 
in a captivating manner. His language was elegant and well cho- 
sen, yet plain and simple; his style was earnest, but not boisterous; 
in a word, he was an eloquent preacher. By request, he ajjpointed 
a meeting for the Sabbath at the usual hour, ten-thirty o'clock a. m., 
at the house of Timothy Carroll, his house being larger and more 
convenient for a large assembly than any other in the section. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 417 

The day was fine and at an early hour a very large congregation 
assembled to hear the eloquent stranger. He was seated near a 
front window, so that he could be seen and heard by those within 
and without the house. As soon as ten-thirty a. m. the audience 
was all seated and ready for the service to commence. He was 
sitting, looking steadily downward toward the floor, seemingly 
unconscious that a large congregation had gathered to hear him 
preach. After a little time, someone told him that the congrega- 
tion was seated and ready for the services to commence, but he paid 
no attention, but still remained with his eyes turned downward; a 
long hour passed away; the congregation remained in profound 
silence; all eyes were fastened on him; curiosity and excitement 
were raised to the highest pitch. By and by he raised his head; 
his eyes rolled in their sockets; his features were distorted, and, in 
a manner overwhelmingly astounding, he announced to his hearers 
that he was a prophet sent by God! And then in language the 
most persuasive, and in tones the most solemn and impressive, 
he urged his hearers not to doubt on pain of eternal death. He 
then presented a very ingenious and conclusive argument, l)ased on 
prophecy, to show that a prophet was to appear at that time. 
His array of arguments in favor of that position was perfectly 
astonishing; he seemingly made it as clear as the noon-day sun. 
Miller never presented an argument so clear in favor of his view 
of scripture prophecy as did Davidson in favor of his position. 

He then i)roceeded to open his mission. He stated, flrst, 
that he was sent to announce to the world that God, the Father, 
was then on earth; that God, the Son, who was equal with the 
Father, came in person to introduce the last Gospel dispensation, 
and that the Father had come in person to close the dispensation 
and with it wind up the affairs of earth. He stated that the world 
would end in 1832, and his arguments in favor of 1832 were stronger 
and more conclusive than any that have been presented in favor of 
1843. The effect of these astonishing announcements upon the 
audience, under the circumstances, cannot l)e described. Some 
believed; some ridiculed and at once called him an impostor; but a 
large j)ortion seemed to be struck with awe, and W(M-e disposed to 
suspend their judgment for the time being. He continued his 



418 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

meetings in that neighborhood each evening for some four weeks; 
much excitement was created, and many professed to embrace his 
views. In his sermons he labored especially to reveal the dark 
things in prophecy. His discourses were able, impressive, and 
thrillingly interesting; some of his views were rational and scrip- 
tural; others were absurd and ridiculous. 

Among other things, he taught that Christ was a woman, and 
that she would appear on earth with the Fathet. Not long after 
this announcement, a Mrs. Thompson, a lady some fifty years old, 
who had never previously made a profession of religion, but had 
embraced his views, and become wild with excitement, announced 
that she was the Christ. At first Davidson seemed to hesitate a 
little, but soon declared that she was Christ. Other people called 
her crazy; her husband confined her; the neighbors watched her as 
a crazy person. These meetings were holden mainly in Fairfield, 
and a large number gathered from Bakersfield, Fairfax, Franklin, 
Georgia, Milton, and some from the other side of the lake. Some 
were Baptists, some were Congregationalists and some were Metho- 
dists, but a large portion were persons who had never been members 
of any church. 

The meetings were continued night and day and assumed a 
most ridiculous character. Toward spring, Mrs. Thompson es- 
caped from her confinement and joined them. She was worshipped 
as Christ and all her commands were strictly obeyed. A Mr. John 
Steward, an Englishman by birth, and a joiner by trade, a very 
pious Methodist man, embraced Mr. Davidson's views. He had 
no family and for some time had made his home with Mr. Timoth.>' 
Carroll, in Bakersfield. While Mrs. Thompson was in Fairfield, 
Mr. Steward, by request or otherwise, called to see Mrs. Thompson, 
whom he believed to be the very Christ. She had some private 
conversation with him; what she said to him we know not. On 
coming out of the room he looked pale and terrified. He walked 
rapidly some four miles to Mr. Carroll's and without speaking to 
the family, went directly to his chest of tools, took a cord, went a 
little way into the woods, a little way back of the house, fastened 
the rope around his neck and then around a tree, swung off, and 
soon he was in the eternal world. 




Dan'ii) G. Cuane 

A nu-ml)(T of tlu- Hurlinston Baptist ("liurcli 



fifty years 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 419 

In the uutuinn following, a Mr. Craw in Fairfield, who had 
embraced the views of Davidson, had become entangled in the 
snare, sharpened his knife and deliberately cut his own throat. 

A short time after this, a Mr. Randall, in Franklin, who had 
become affected with this same doctrine, came to believe that he 
must offer his children in sacrifice; he, therefore, took his butcher 
knife and deliberately cut their throats. At this, some of the in- 
habitants of Fairfield became so indignant that they resolved to 
put an end to this work, and one night this Davidson mysteriously 
disappeared. What became of him I know not. Report says 
that he was placed astride a little French horse, and having been 
well covered with tar and feathers, was driven beyond the line of 
the State. Where he came from, what had been his former occupa- 
tion, or what was his true name, or what was his end, we know not. 
He mysteriously came among us, ran a short race, accomplished 
a vast amount of injury, and disappeared. There being no Bap- 
tists in Bakersfield, and but few in that part of Fairfield, we suf- 
fered less in this raid than some others; but yet, our churches suf- 
fered to some extent. 

Historical Sketch of the French Baptist Church of 
Montgomery, V^ermont 

In the years 1840 and 1841, several French Canadian Catholics 
were led to embrace the truth of the Gospel in some Methodist 
meetings held at the village of West Enosburg, \'t. Among them 
a laboring man, Mr. J. Morin, a mechanic, unable to read even in 
his own language, worked very earnestly to spread the truth 
among his countrymen. His efforts developed in him natural 
talents for the work of evangelization. After a few years, forty 
of these converts, who had united with the American Baptist 
church of Enoslmrg, .severed their relations to it in order to form 
the French Baptist church of Enosburg, of which Mr. Morin, who 
had made a short stay at the Institution of Grande Ligne, became 
the pastor. Prayer meetings, from house to hou.se, multiplied. 
Most of the Canadian families of the locality were won to the 
truth, and the good work .soon spread in the neighboring towns 



420 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

of Berkshire, Richford and Montgomery, where the French popula- 
tion was on the increase from year to year. 

In the meantime, while the Lord was using J. Morin as an in- 
strument of His grace among the French Canadians scattered 
among the Green Mountains, he was preparing in distant vil- 
lages of Canada, new souls, who were soon to come and share in 
this glorious gift of Gospel light. In the village of St. Aime, 
(twelve miles from Sorel), an aged man named Dominique, a native 
of France, lived peaceably in the midst of his numerous family, 
which was nominally Catholic, while he himself, connected with 
no religious denomination, spent his leisure hours in reading an old 
Bible which he had brought from his native country. The priest, 
who watched with close attention this family, whose devotion to 
the church was somewhat doubtful, had often attempted to take 
possession of the precious volume, the old man's treasure, with 
which indeed some of his sons, in order to escape the suspicion 
of heresy, would have consented to part. Three of these came to 
settle with their families in the vicinity of Enosburg. One of 
them, Fehx, having obtained a Bible from Mr. Morin, read it with 
much interest, so much was he under the impression that the 
Protestant Bibles were falsified. In this anxiety he returned to 
St. Aime, and desired the opinion of his father with regard to the 
book. After a careful examination, his father said to him, "This 
book, my son, is the living word of God; read it without fear." 
Not long after the father died and the priest ordered that the book, 
which had kept him aloof from his church, be burned, an order 
which the children at first refused to obey. However, one of the 
sons, the owner of the old homestead, having delivered the book 
into the hands of the priest, he quickly cast it into the fire, thrusting 
it with the poker before the horrified eyes of the family. After 
his return to Vermont, the Bible became indeed for Felix and his 
family, "the living word of God." His zeal and christian fidelity 
conduced greatly to the edification of the Enosburg church initil 
his death. Afterwards, the church in Montgomery numbered 
among its members several of his children and relatives, and the 
author of this sketch considers it one of the most interesting 
incidents of his missionary life that he received these details from 



HISTORY OV THE BAPTISTS IN VERM(JXT 421 

the lips of his pious wife, when on her death bed she praised and 
glorified the Lord that He had delivered her husband with his kin- 
dred from the power of darkness and translated them into the king- 
dom of His dear Son. (Col. 1 : 13.) 

This progress of the Gospel among the French of Vermont 
awakened the lively interest of the American churches. Mr. 
Morin and his colporteurs were liberally supported. A society 
was even organized at liurlington with the special object of aiding 
this work. This sympathy, thus expressed, created great anticipa- 
tion that might have been fully realized had not self-seeking human 
nature been allowed to use these smiles of divine grace and the 
gifts of christian munificence for its own glorification, an act which 
is always the sure presage of humiliating defeats. 

The French population, disseminated in the forests which at 
that time completely covered the hills south of Montgomery', 
formed an important part of the West Eno.sburg church. The 
Gospel was readily and joyously received by those people, who were 
laboriously engaged in establishing for themselves homes in those 
wild places where the soil was comparatively cheap. 

On the tenth of November, 1851, forty-eight of these people, 
most of them members of the West Enosburg church, organized a 
French Baptist church, of which Mr. Antoine Boisvert, a French 
colporteur of the same locality, became the pastor. Rev. J. Morin 
presided at the council convened for that purpose in the Metho- 
dist chai)el at Montgomery. On this occasion some of the French 
Protestants, whose homes were situated on the Richford mountain, 
but who had attended this Convention for the purpose, also organ- 
ized themselves into a Baptist church. Soon after, the church 
of Enosburg was obliged to sever its connection with its pastor, 
who had brought reproach upon himself and upon the church by the 
use of hitoxicating drinks, while Rev. A. Boisvert, receiving little 
encouragement, retired from the work at Montgomery. Thus, 
in a short time, this missionary enterprise, de])rive(l of its leaders, 
presented the sad s])ecta<'le of a ship al)and()ne(l in initl-ocean. In 
these circumstances the Grande Ligne Mission directed some of her 
la])orers, particularly Rev. J. N. Williams and T. Hiendeau, to 
visit the field as often as possible. They did so until tlii' year 1858, 



422 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

when a missionary from France, Rev. J. Sestoiirneau, who had 
come to Canada mider the auspices of the Grand Ligne Mission, 
impressed by the urgent need of Vermont, came to settle at West 
Enosburg with his family. He was ordained the year following, by a 
council of Baptist pastors, and immediately addressed himself with 
great energy to the work of re-establishing the churches and re- 
pairing the injuries which they had received. At first he was but 
scantily supported, receiving but a small appropriation from the 
Vermont State Convention. He, however, labored none the less 
with an energy and devotion which will not soon be forgotten. 
The work received a new impetus. The churches setting aside 
their local preferences, united under the name of The Church of 
Montgomery and West Enosburg. The little church of Richford 
was also revived. A general revival took place. A large number 
of converts were gathered in who confessed their faith by baptism 
and greatly rejoiced the heart of the missionary and the churches. 
In the meantime a meeting-house was built at Montgomery, the 
seating capacity of which often proved inadequate for the increas- 
ing congregation. 

At the request of the church, the board of the Grande Ligne 
Mission, in 1860, decided to assume the support of Brother Ses- 
tourneau, and to consider his field as one of their missionary sta- 
tions. A colporteur was engaged to help him in the person of Mr. 
E. Villeneuve. Swanton and Highgate were visited by the mis- 
sionaries. In this last place the Gospel was well received by sev- 
eral French families, and a few persons having given evidence of a 
change of heart were baptized. This, however, drew the opposi- 
tion of some Catholic priests, three of whom came to visit their 
former adherents at M<Hitgomery. where they challenged the 
Protestant missionary to a pubhc discussion, in the hope of bring- 
ing back into the pale of the Roman Catholic church some of those 
whom they considered as lost sheep. But this attempt resulted 
in their discomfiture. A poor Catholic man having asked them 
where he must go to find the truth, he was told that the truth was 
at Rome. "In that case," said he, "I must make up my mind 
to go without the truth, for I am too poor to go so far to get it. " 

During the war of the secession, a comparatiAcly large num- 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 423 

ber of French Canadians entered the army of the United States. 
This national calamity was the cause of many painful separations, 
and of the making of many orphans and widows among the French 
families under the pastoral care of Brother Sestourneau. His 
visits became more urgently needed and much more frequent. In 
leaving their families these soldiers commended them to the watch- 
ful care of their devoted pastor, and when they were away a large 
part of their correspondence devolved on him. These additional 
cares and labors made the draught upon his system too great. 
Before the end of the first year of the war. Brother Sestourneau 's 
health was seriously impaired, symptoms of a nervous disease 
developing with an alarming ra})idity. Family circumstances 
having induced him to settle at Richford, his visits became still 
more difficult. The field of Montgomery was the first to suffer. 
In a visit to Canada, Mr. Sestourneau met with a young brother, 
who had just left the Institute of Grande Ligne, and who some 
time before had entertained a conviction of duty to devote his life 
to the missionary cause, but who was at this time in a state of 
serious doubt and uncertainty with regard to the foundation of 
these convictions. Accepting, however, an invitation extended to 
him l)y Mr. Sestourneau to accompany him to his field of labor, 
he was thus initiated into the work, accompanying him in his 
missionary visits and participating in the conduct of jjublic meet- 
ings. His vocation soon became manifest. Hearing of this. 
Madam Feller, of the Grande Ligne Mission, was greatly rejoiced, 
and she requested the board of that mission to appoint him as as- 
sistant missionary, stationing him at West Enosburg, where he re- 
mained about a year. Thus, the Lord was preparing for his work 
a new missionary in the person of our brother. Rev. A. S. Therrien. 
whom the board of the Grande Ligne Mission now justly claims 
as one of its laborers and has called him to the important station 
of Montreal. Brother Sestourneau 's health growing worse and 
worse, he was obliged to resign the pastorate of the Montgomery 
church, but retaining that of the Richford church, which soon lost 
two-thirds of its members, who immigrated to Minnesota. In the 
same year, at the request of the church and on the recommenda- 
tion of Mr. Sestourneau. the l)oard of the Grande Ligne Mission 



424 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

appointed Rev. J. D. Rossier, a native of Switzerland, to the post 
of Montgomery. He found the congregation greatly stirred 
through the ardent and somewhat eccentric zeal of a Methodist 
brother. From its origin, the church had sho'ftai a predilection 
for that demonstrative style of praying and exhorting which some- 
times characterize religious revivals among country people. In 
meetings protracted to a very late hour, the emotions of the heart 
culminate in an enthusiasm and ecstatic demonstration. This 
dangerous element, which lead many to depreciate quiet meetings, 
and to place a higher estimate upon loud and demonstrative speak- 
ing than upon plain and earnest preaching of the Gosppl, and which 
fosters the notion that clamours and groanings are the necessary 
accompaniments of true worship, can easily be developed among 
the French who have received the first glimpses of Gospel light. A 
too free reception given to new doctrines and an undiscriminating 
admiration for those who can speak well, is another danger which 
has often threatened the peace of the church. In these circum- 
stances the new pastor saw that his work called him to plant his 
home among his people upon the hill of Montgomery, which 
through years of hard labor, had become more habitable. Being 
aware of the church 's lack of a solid foundation of religious knowl- 
edge upon which to rest its faith, he thought it of primary import- 
ance to instruct them, and to apply himself to the teaching of sound 
doctrine, in order to place his flock in better condition to resist the 
dangers mentioned above. It was not long after this that some 
Seventh Day Adventists, who had succeeded in founding in a 
neighboring town, a church which was under the direction of two 
French l)rothers, formerly connected with the Enosburg church, 
attempted to spread their views among the flock. But receiving 
no encouragement they abandoned their undertaking. After- 
ward, some Catholic priests came, preaching in private houses, 
visiting among the people, sprinkhng children born of mixed mar- 
riages, and artfully assuring the peoj)le that they could be received 
into the comnnmion of the Roman Catholic church without being 
constrained to obey all its regulations, and that they could even 
be excused from accepting certain doctrines too repulsive to be 
accepted by those who have tasted of God's pure Gospel. The 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IX VERMONT 425 

pastor was again challenged to a puhlie discussion Avhich, however, 
was conducted more prudently than the one above alluded to. 
The priests agreed to establish their thesis by the Scripture, which 
they recognized as the basis of christian faith; but, forced to ex- 
press themselves upon certain doctrines of their church directly 
contradicted by Scripture, they declared that the Church of Rome 
is endowed with divine authority to estabhsh or condemn. No 
unfortunate results ensued from this discussion; the church re- 
mained firm and united. The meetings were well attended and 
several members were added to the church. 

The board of the Grande Ligne Mission, having become con- 
siderably embarrassed in its finances, the church was obliged to 
look elsewhere for help. An application was made to the American 
Baptist Home Mission Society, which agreed to pay two-thirds 
of their pastor's salary, the church paying the other third. 

In the year 1874, the board of the Grande Ligne Mission 
called the pastor to take the direction of the Grande Ligne Institu- 
tion, hoping to find a suitable man to succeed him at Montgomery. 
During two years the church remained without a pastor, depending 
upon the occasional services of colporteurs and neighboring pastors 
and the monthly visits of its late pastor. 

After two years, and as a conse(|uence of too many cares and 
excessive; labors in the supervision of the house-management at 
Grande Ligne, Mrs. Rossier's health failed and this induced her 
husband to accept a second call extended to him by the church in 
Montgomery. Shortly after his return his heart was greatly 
cheered by the conversion of a few persons who had recently ai)an- 
doned Romanism. One of these, Mrs. D. \'ierge, deserves a 
special mention. Being a widow and an invalid, she had been, 
until the age of seventy-five, a sincere adherent of the Roman 
Catholic church, in spite of the fact that her children had aban- 
doned that church long ago. But at last, through the labors of 
the French Canadian colporteur she was led to see and embrace 
the truth as it is in Jesus. She soon desired to follow her Saviour 
in baj)tism and prayed earnestly that the Lord might send a i)a.stor 
to administer the ordinance to her. Being unable to walk, some 
of her friends carried her in their arms through the woods to a 



426 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

favorable place where she was baptized in the presence of a large 
assembly, largely composed of Catholics, who admired her courage 
and her sincerity, which could not be questioned. "What a 
blessing," exclaimed the daughter! "We left Canada with the 
thought that we were coming to a country where there was no 
religion, and behold we found in it the light and truth. " 

Not long after the pastor 's return to his former field of labor, 
the board of the Grande Ligne Mission having decided, on account 
of its financial embarrassments, to abandon its station in Vermont, 
the church was left to its own resources and the pastor found him- 
self in a critical position. Owing to the inability of the Vermont 
State Convention, and of the other missionary societies, to extend 
any help for the continuation of his work, and in the circumstances 
desiring to leave the church entirely free to act for itself, the pastor 
resigned, in 1874, his pastoral charge, while continuing to serve 
the church as supply according to the measure of strength the Lord 
gave him, he being obhged to work with his hands for the support 
of his family. In 1879, the church of Montgomery numbered 
sixty-one members, who had regular services every Sunday in two 
different localities. The field of the missionary embraced seventy 
families of French Canadians, nominally Protestants, and a certain 
number of others which, though Catholic, were disposed to listen 
to the reading and exposition of God 's Word. 

Translated from, the French by Rev. A. L. Therrien, 2 Thistle 
Terrace, Montreal. 




liuAXDOX HaI'TIST ('ill K( II 
The Coll vciilioM was (,ro;uiiz,.,l i,i l{r;m<l..M. 18iJ-i 



Chapter XXII 
THE VERMONT BAPTIST STATE CONVENTION 

Origin and Early Years 

Convinced of the need of closer co-operation in evangelistic 
and missionary operations, the Fairfield, Vermont, and Woodstock 
Associations, each appointed delegates to confer with the delegates 
from other Associations, and with brethren from different parts of 
the State, on the expediency of forming a General Convention of 
the Baptists of Vermont. 

Thus authorized, a number of brethren met in conference in 
the court house, in Montpelier village, on Wednesday, October 
14, 1825. In addition to the brethren appointed by the Associa- 
tions mentioned, there were present brethren from the churches 
in the Barre, Danville and Leyden Associations. 

Ministers present were from Waterbury, Ezra Butler; Chester, 
Aaron Leland; Dummerston, Jonathan Huntley; Sharon, Joseph 
Parker; Brandon, Isaac Sawyer; Whiting, Joseph W. Sawyer; 
Montpelier, C. C. P. Crosby; Coventry, John Ide. 

Lay brethren, from Fairfield, Joseph D. Farnsworth; Swanton, 
Joseph Berry; Vernon, Samuel Sikes. 

Brethren, after deliberating upon the (juestion committed 
to them, agreed that the interests of religion required that a Con- 
vention be formed. This decision was not reached till the whole 
question had been thoroughly debated. One of the delegates, at 
least, was there as a vigorous opposer of the enterprise; that was 
Aaron Leland. "With the most determined energy he fought the 
proposed formation of a State Convention, believing or fearing that 
it would je()i)ardize the independence of the churches. After the 
vote was taken, resulting in a strong majority against him, he arose 
and said in a good natured way all his own. 'And now, my brethren, 
I suppose you think you hiixv got rid of the troublesome old man; 



428 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

but if SO you are much mistaken. I can never be separated from 
my brethren, and if you are determined to launch this ship, I shall 
jump aboard and ride; and I warn you now, that if you do attempt 
to interfere with the independence of the churches, you will hear 
my voice in protest.' " (Convention Minutes, 1875.) 

The main question having been thus settled. Brethren Joseph 
W. Sawyer, and C. C. P. Crosby w^ere appointed a committee to 
draft a constitution, rules of decorum, and a circular or call to the 
churches and associations. At a subsequent meeting, this com- 
mittee made their report, which was unanimously adopted. The 
names of all present were appended to the circular, and a number 
of copies of the constitution and circular were printed and distri- 
buted through the State. The time mentioned in the circular for 
the meeting of the delegates was the fourth ^Yednesday in October, 
1824. The place fixed upon was Brandon. 

Agreeable to this appointment a Convention was held in 
Brandon, October 26, 1824. The following brethren were present, 
Vermont Association, Rev. Abel Woods, of Hubbardton; Rev. 
Isaac Sawyer, Rev. Samuel C. Dillaway, of Granville, N. Y.; Rev. 
Jonathan Merriam, Jr.. of Bridport; Deacon Oliver Sanford, of 
Poultney. Fairfield Association, Rev. Peter Chase, of Hines- 
burg; Rev. Alvah Sabin, of Georgia; Austin Beecher, of Hines- 
burg; Edmond Chamberlain. Woodstock Association, Rev. 
Daniel Packer, of Mount Holly. Manchester Association, Rev. 
John R. Dodge, of Manchester. Mission Society, Vermont 
Association, Rev. Pharcellus Church, of Poultney. 

The Convention was organized by choosing Rev. Isaac Sa'vs'yer, 
moderator, and Rev. John R. Dodge, clerk. The circular was 
read, and the probable advantages of the Convention discussed. 

1. The Convention voted to adopt the substance of the 
constitution (adopted by the meeting the preceding year). 

2. Appointed Rev. J. R. Dodge, and S. C. Dillaway, a com- 
mittee to prepare a set of by-laws for the Convention. 

3. Appointed the following persons, officers for the ensuing 
year: Rev. Ezra Butler, president; Rev. Aaron Leland, first vice- 
president; Rev. Roswell Mears (of Georgia), second vice-presi- 
dent; Rev. Joseph W. Sawyer, corresponding secretary; Rev. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 429 

John R. Dodge, recording secretary; Deacon Abner Forbes (of 
Windsor), treasurer; Rev. Linus Austin (of Whitingham), Rev. 
Abel Woods, Rev. Timothy Spaulding, Rev. John Ide, Rev. Alvah 
Sabin, Rev. Daniel Packer, John Conant, Esq., (of Brandon), 
Deacon Peter Dean (of Manchester, afterwards of Grafton); 
Deacon Daniel Mason (of Rockingham); Hon. Joseph D. Farns- 
worth, board of trustees. 

4. Voted that the next meeting of the Con\'ention l)e held at 
the Baptist meeting-house. East Bethel, on the third Wednesday 
of October, 1825. 

Every association was represented except Shaftsbury, which 
then had only four churches in the State. The Shaftsbury Associa- 
tion, however, in 1826, voted to unite with the rest in the Con- 
vention. 

It is noteworthy how many able leaders there were, so early, 
among the Baptists in Vermont. Aaron Lei and was then lieuten- 
ant governor of the State: Ezra Butler had been in Congress 
(1813-1815), and was soon to be governor of Vermont (1826-1828), 
before Leland laid down his office,- — two Baptist ministers, at the 
head of the commonwealth! Alvah Sal)in was sent to Congress 
during the anti-slavery struggle in 1853. Deacon Conant, Judge 
Farnsworth, General Forbes were among the most influential men 
on either side of the Green Mountains. Rev. Pharcellus Church, 
D. D., died at Tarrytown, N. Y., June 5, 1886, full of years and 
honor, the last of the founders of the Convention. He was or- 
dained in Poultney, in June, 1825, l)ut he left the State in 1828. 
The foresight and energy of these brethren and others of equal 
wisdom, if not equal in prominence, led to a remarkable series of 
denominational enterprises during the next fifteen years, and 
under the divine favor, to an advance of our numbers from 6,600 
to 11,000. The outflowing westward tide of emigration was only 
then beginning. 

The Vermont Baj)tist Convention was formed in the same 
year as that of Rhode Island, and was preceded in age only l)y 
Massachusetts (1802); New York (1807); South Carolina (1820); 
(ieorgia (1822), Alabama, C(mnecticut, \'irginia (each 1823). 

Twenty agents were appointed at Bramlon to collect funds and 
to form auxiliary societies: The treasurer and Deacon Conant were 



430 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

designated to receive money or goods, and disl)urse the same 
under the direction of the Board. Rev. Abel Woods was also 
appointed to be a traveling agent for six months. But funds 
were not secured, and the ensuing February, at Royalton, the 
Board resolved to retain but one collecting agent, Rev. John R. 
Dodge, with a salary of six dollars per week, to be paid in money 
or goods in proportion to each collected. This arrangement stood 
till 1826, and then it was voted that "the compensation of the 
missionaries and agents be 'the same,' payable half in goods 
and half in money. " 

Circular Ordered by the Vermont Baptist State 
Convention in 1824 

The Board of the Baptist Convention of the State of Vermont 
and vicinity, to the churches composing the same, and to the 
friends of the cause of benevolence, send christian greetings. 

The work of e\'angelizing the world is now successfully com- 
menced by the friends of Christ — and in this labor of love we, as 
a denomination, are attempting to bear some humble part. There 
are already, in the various fields occupied, twenty-eight com- 
petent missionaries — sixteen males and twelve females. Nine 
males are ordained preachers. These missionaries have, under 
their immediate instruction, about two hundred scholars. They 
have also established four churches among the heathen. In addi- 
tion to this, we have a number of institutions, literary and theologi- 
cal, which make a demand on our charities, and ought not to 
languish through our neglect. Also, the condition of our own 
State, (in which there are at least one hundred churches of our own 
denomination, and of ministers not more than two-thirds that 
number), demands the sympathies, the prayers and the benevolent 
efforts of all who cordially desire the advancement of the Redeem- 
er's cause. 

These considerations, together with that oi a world lying in 
sin and wickedness, and perishing without the knowledge of sal- 
vation, have impelled the Board to call upon you in this manner, 
in the hope of exciting you to greater exertions. 

Our missionaries require immediate assistance in order to 
continue their operations. The n^sources of our l)rethren, which 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 431 

were called into action for about three years from the formation of 
the General Convention, manifested that they were both al^le 
and willing to do much for the spread of the Gospel. If, then, 
for any reason, we have become inactive and indifferent, let us 
not remain so. It is time to awake and put forth our energies in 
the best of causes. 

Does not He, who gave His life for us, require it at our hands? 
Consider how large a portion of the church in America is made 
up of our brethren; and shall we withhold our portion from the 
treasury of the Lord? Let each one now act with eternity in view. 
And let it not be found, in the Great Day of accounts, that for the 
sake of leaving a trifle more to his heirs, he has withheld from 
immortal souls the Gospel of salvation. 

As united and concentrated action is most powerful and suc- 
cessful, to this we now invite you. We confidently hope that 
ministers, deacons and private brethren will take an active part 
in this good work, and exert themselves in forming in their respec- 
tive neighborhoods, societies auxiliars^ to the State Convention. 
That all monies and other property may be at the disposal of the 
united wisdom of the whole; unless when a special object is named 
by the donors; in which case, it will be faithfully applied to that 
object, whether foreign or domestic missions, or the support of our 
literary institutions. 

We trust that it will be obvious to everj' one, that a State 
Convention on the general plan marked out by the constitution, 
supported by the different auxiliaries, is the best means of pro- 
motion, the great ol)ject we have in view. 

We have, therefore, appointed Rev. John R. Dodge, as a 
traveling agent, to make the necessary explanations — to assist 
in organizing societies, solicit donations and subscriptions, and 
receive whatever is contributed to the funds of the Convention; 
who will make returns to the Board at their next annual meeting, 
at Hethel, the third Wednesday in October, 18'25, at ten o'clock 

A. M. 

Done by order of the lioard, 

John Coxant, Cli:iinuaii, 

Joseph W. Sawyer, Clerk rroTcni. 

Randolph, Februaiy 9, IH'id. 



432 history of the baptists in vermont 

Form of a Constitution for an Auxiliary Society 

Article 1 . This society shall be called the Baptist Benevolent 
Society, auxiliary to the Baptist State Convention of Vermont and 
vicinity. 

Article 2. The sole object of this society shall be to raise 
money, or other property, annually, to aid the funds of the State 
Convention. 

Article 3. Any portable property may be taken in payment 
for the subscriptions of those who sign, but no property may be 
taken on a subscription, above the current price of such property, 
at the time when it is paid into the treasury. 

Article 4. All persons, belonging to this society, shall have 
the privilege of designating the object to which the Convention 
shall appropriate their subscriptions or donations; and the same 
privilege is by the Convention, given to each auxiliary society. 

Article 5. It shall be the duty and the right of every society, 
which adopts this constitution, to send an agent to each State 
Convention, to act in all their deliberations. 

iVrticle 6. The officers of this society shall be a chairman 
and scribe, a treasurer and collector; who shall perform the fol- 
lowing duties, viz. : 

The chairman shall preside in all the meetings of the society ; 
the scribe shall keep the records and conduct the correspondence; 
the treasurer shall take charge of the money or property collected, 
and pay it out by order of the society; the collector shall make 
collection of the same for the society. 

Article 7. The annual meeting of the society shall be on the 
third Wednesday of October. The meeting shall be opened l^y 
prayer; and, if practicable, a sermon shall be delivered, before the 
ordinary business of the society commences. The report of the 
treasurer shall be presented, and audited by a committee, ap- 
pointed for that purpose; and the funds transmitted to the treasur- 
er of the State Convention; together with directions for its appro- 
priation, unless it be left at the disposal of the Board. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IX VERMONT 433 

1824—1840 

At its next session, October 19, 1825, the Convention began 
to assume the proportions of a State organization, and its con- 
stituency, constitution, its appeal to the churches and the begin- 
nings of its work become the objects of interesting study, in com- 
parison with more recent developments. 

The following associations and auxiliary societies were repre- 
sented: Woodstock Association, Rev. Daniel Packer and Rev. R. 
M. Ely; Vermont Association, Rev. Abel Woods, Rev. Joseph 
Sawyer, Gibbon Williams, Rev. Jonathan Merriam, Jr.; Ley den 
Association, Rev. Phineas Howe; Manchester Association, Rev. 
C. M. Fuller; Barre Association, Rev. Isaac Sa%\yer, Rev. Timothy 
Spaulding, Rev. Elijah Huntington; Warren Baptist Missionary 
Society, Bissell Phelps; Bethel Female Mite Society, John Billings, 
Jr.; Bethel Baptist Missionary Society, E. A. Fowler; Putney 
Female Mite Society, John Townsend; Putney Baptist Benevolent 
Society, John Townsend; Manchester Female Mite Society, C. 
M. Fuller; Grafton Female Mite Society, C. M. Fuller; Brandon 
Flock Society, J. W. Sawyer; Townshend Baptist Missionary 
Society, J. M. Graves; Townshend Female Missionary Society, 
J. M. Graves; Jamaica Baptist Missionary Society, J. M. Graves; 
Jamaica Female Missionary Society, J. M. Graves; Hartland 
Baptist Missionary Society, Rev. T. Grow; Halifax Female Mis- 
sionary Society, P. Howe; Vermont Baptist Missionary Society, 
Rev. Pharcellus Church. 

There is nothing in the records to show how many attended 
the Convention besides the apj^ointed delegates, but it is evident 
that the attendance was not large, as the morning session, which 
was doul)tless held in the meeting-house, adjourned for one hour, 
"and then to meet at Deacon Fowler's." 

Rev. Nathaniel W. Williams, R. M. Ely, Deacon Abner 
Forl)es and Brother John Billings were appointed to prcpaiv a 
circular, make the necessary alterations in the constitution and 
superintend the printing of the minutes. 

Elected Rev. Isaac Sawyer, president; Re\'. .Vbel Woods and 
Rev. Daniel Packer, vice-prcvsidonts; Re\ . Joseph Sawyer, cor- 



434 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

responding secretary; Rev. Richard M. Ely, recording secretary; 
Deacon x\bner Forbes, treasurer; Brother John Jones, sub-treas- 
urer. 

Rev. Joseph Sawyer and Cy renins M. Fuller were appointed 
delegates to the General Convention of the United States, to meet 
in New York, in April, 1826. 

The business transacted by the Board of Managers makes a 
very brief report. The churches of Dresden, Grafton and Putney 
were the first to receive appropriations; to Dresden, the sum of 
twenty dollars, that the Rev. Isaac Fuller might continue his 
labors with them; to Putney, fifteen dollars, to be paid their pastor, 
Rev. M. McCullar; and Elder Sweet, a missionary for the town 
of Grafton, was allowed to receive the money still retained by the 
society there (auxiliary to the Convention), for his labors while 
in the service of the Convention. 

One hundred dollars were ordered sent to the treasurer of 
the General Convention. Note the small beginnings of State 
work and the relatively large appropriation for the general work 
of the denomination. 

Several agents were appointed: Rev. Timothy Spaulding, for 
the term of six months, to labor in the northern part of the State 
and vicinity; Brother Gibbons Williams for four weeks; Rev. 
Isaac Sawyer to labor one-fourth part of the time till the next 
meeting of the Board; Rev. C. M. Fuller, for four weeks; Rev. J. 
M. Graves for four weeks. 

The first treasurer's report is in two columns, one for the 
cash receipts, mainly from associations and societies, amounting 
to $184.45; the other for clothing, etc., amounting to $IQ6.56}/^. 
The items in the clothing column are exceedingly suggestive of 
the primitive conditions in those early days of the Convention, 
They are not unworthy of permanent record in these pages. "Two 
boxes of clothing, etc., for Carey Station, in the hands of Asa Bill- 
ings, Royalton, from a few females of Thetford and Fairlee, $61.00; 
Brandon Religious Flock Society, 143^ yards fulled cloth, $15.35- 
9 yards fulled cloth from Manchester Society, $9.00; 1 pair shoes, 
do., $1.50; sundry clothing from Grafton Female Missionary- 
Society, $17.52; Putney Female Society, sundry socks, etc., $4.25; 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 435 

Jamaica Missionary' Society, sundry clothing, $2.08; Do. Fern. 
Society, 15 yards cotton cloth, 12^^ yards flannel, 5 pair socks and 
1 handkerchief, $10.38; ToMTishend Missionary Society, 2 pair 
socks, etc., $4.81; D. Female do., sundries, $4.09; Elder Dodge, 2 
pair shoes and 3 pair socks, $2.10; 10 volumes sermons and pamph- 
lets collected by Elder Dodge, $15.00; 1 pair Satin Den shoes, 
$1.50; 1 pair child's morocco shoes, $.75, and 1 cotton shawl and 
two silk handkerchiefs, $3.12}/^; 1 pair shoes and 2 pair socks, 
$1,313/2; linen and two yarn $.94. From individuals in Plainfield, 
41^ yards fulled cloth, $4.50, diaper, $.50; Middletown Female 
Missionary Society, 4 pair socks and 4^/2 yards fulled cloth, $6.85." 

Contributions of goods and articles of value continued for 
some years to form a large part of the income of the Convention. 
The work of collecting, appraising, transporting, storing and dis- 
tributing these articles became at times burdensome to the treasur- 
er and his assistants, especially when the contributors were not 
careful to give a careful inventory of their boxes, or properly to 
label them, and more than once they had to be reminded of this 
important duty. 

The women bore their full share of the Convention burdens, 
giving their money, time and toil for the cause. The "Female 
Mite Societies" and "Female Missionary Societies" are con- 
spicuously in evidence in the treasurer's reports. They carded, 
spun, wove, knit, sewed and sacrificed to supplj^ the needed re- 
sources. Many of them parted with their personal ornaments, 
strings of gold beads, necklaces, finger rings, ear knobs, watch 
seals and watches, jewelry of every kind. These were sold in 
Boston by the agents of the Convention, and the receipts turned 
into the treasury. 

Articles of other kinds bear witness to the devotion of the 
men. Sermons, pamphlets, sole leather, axe helves, found their 
way to the treasury. An elder and his family contributed "two 
dozen boxes of pills, appraised at four dollars." 

Children put in their offerings, juvenile societies and Sunday 
school scholars are credited with contributions, and old people 
cast in of their slender income. Among the most interesting 
entries, occurring several times, is "a tenth of an old Hevolutionai y 
soldier's pension, sacredly consecrated." 



436 history of the baptists in vermont 

The Second Circular, Five Hundred Copies of Which 
Were Ordered Printed in 1825 

After a comprehensive review of the missionary movement 
that began with Pierce and Carey about the year 1790, the circular 
continues : 

"It is probably known to you all, that a Convention of our 
denomination was formed in this State one year since, having for 
its object the promotion of the interests of true rehgion. This 
object they aim to attain, not by an exclusive attention to any one 
method of exertion, but to embrace in the design, foreign and do- 
mestic missions, and the instruction of pious young men called to 
the Gospel ministry. Which of the three may be considered the 
most important, it is difficult to say. The design is to afford aid 
to them all, and, from time to time, to bestow the greater atten- 
tion to that object, which appears to need the greater assistance. 
At the present time it is conceived that a considerable portion of 
attention is needed in our own State. Many of the churches are 
destitute of pastors, and are suffering for want of constant, faith- 
ful preaching and discipline, and other parts of the State, where 
no churches exist, or where destructive errors and practices are 
prevalent, need the faithful and judicious labor of pious mission- 
aries. 

"Many of our churches and societies are too small and too 
poor to support a minister themselves, but where they lie con- 
tiguous to each other, by combining the means of two or three 
churches and societies, they might support a respectable preacher, 
who should devote his whole time to prayer and the ministry of the 
Word in their service. 

"In this way our churches may be brought into a more reg- 
ular and systematic state, and it is believed that by the constant 
labors of pastors the cause of religion would be more extensively 
promoted. We know that, in a state which is comparatively new, 
it cannot be expected that every desirable object should l>e at 
once accomplished, but every object should be prosecuted in a 
manner adai)ted gradually to secure the end proposed. The sup- 
port of faithful and well informed missionaries, to labor within the 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 437 

State, is thought to he one of the liest which we can employ. And 
if we would have missionaries qualified for their work, our young 
brethren, who are generally unable to bear their own expenses, 
must be furnished by the hand of christian charity, with the means 
of cultivating and improving the gifts which God graciously be- 
stowed upon them. 

"Nor must we overlook missions among the red men of our 
forests, and the many millions of idolaters which live in foreign 
countries. To carry the Gospel where it has never been known is 
an apostolical work. To engage in this work, the providence of 
God is particularly inviting us. Great facilities are afforded in the 
translation of the scriptures, and very pleasing success has of late 
attended some of the exertions which have been made. It is true 
that the peril of our dear friends in Burma have been great, and for 
the safety of some of them we have many fears. Yet, even there 
it is believed the way is preparing for much more extensive efforts, 
and with far greater safety, than were made before the war. 

"A more perfect translation of the New Testament is now 
preparing in Calcutta, with which the brethren will return to Bur- 
ma as soon as the war shall have ended. Beside the missionaries, 
who have been for several years in India, our worthy Brother 
Boardman, with his wife, have probably reached their destination 
about this time. Other brethren are ready to go when the Board 
or management shall think fit to send them. In view of all these 
circumstances, it nmst be obvious that large expenditures are re- 
quired and larger ones will be required. 

"How desirable it is that missionary funds should be increased. 
But we have to lament that for several years the spirit of missions 
has declined, so that it has been with difficulty the Board has been 
able to support their laliorers in the field. We do not, however, 
think that this defect has been wholly owing to the want of feel- 
ing, but chiefly to the want of system and cooperation among our 
churches. The practice of forming distinct st)cieties is not suf- 
ficiently prevalent. To remedy this evil the Convention has leen 
formed in this State, and it is ardently desired that, in each and 
all of our churches, societies may be formed sjieedily. auxiliary to 
the Convention, and rcj)orted without delay. This Convention 



438 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

will be likely to become auxiliary to the General Convention of the 
United States, and thus a regular channel of communication be 
formed from the individual contributions to the general treasury, 

"And now, beloved christian friends, we have only to exhort 
you to think of the millions of precious souls that are destitute 
of gospel instructions and liable every moment to drop into etern- 
ity! Let the question come home to your own mind, 'How much 
owest thou unto my Lord?' and if your hearts are grateful for the 
love of Jesus for you, do all in your power to make known the same 
love to others. Govern your charity by this apostolic rule: 'Let 
every one of you lay by him in store, on the first day of the week, 
according as God has prospered him.' And while you give, dear 
friends, do not forget to pray that a blessing may attend your 
gifts. 'Prayer moves the hand that moves the world. ' Imagine 
yourselves and your children in the same situation in which the 
disciples of Jesus in Burma are. Would you not desire and justly 
expect the favored inhabitants of America to send the gospel to 
your perishing countrymen.? Bear, then, on your hearts the poor 
heathen before God, and in view of that day when you must need 
the assembled nations before the Lord, now act as you will at that 
time wish you had done." 

ORIGINAL CONSTITUTION OF THE VERMONT 
BAPTIST STATE CONVENTION 

Preamble 

At a day when the christian church is impressed with the 
great importance of spreading the Gospel of Christ, the Baptist 
churches of the State of Vermont, being desirous of aiding the same 
cause, delegates from different parts of the State, pursuant to a 
circular missive, from brethren convened at Montpelier in October, 
1883, resolved that it was expedient to form a State Convention, 
and proceeded to the adoption of a constitution, which, being 
altered and amended by a committee appointed by the Convention 
for that purpose, at their annual meeting in Bethel, in the present 
month of October, 1825, the following is the revised: 



history of the baptists in vermont 439 

Constitution 

OF the BAPTIST CONVENTION OF THE STATE OF VERMONT AND 
VICINITY 

I. This Convention shall be called The Baptist Convention of 
the State of Vermont and Vicinity. 

II. The object of this Convention shall be to unite the wisdom 
and energies of the Baptist Denomination in this State and 
vicinity, thereby to facilitate their union and cooperation 
in supporting missionary labors among the destitute, and 
to devise and execute other important measures for the ad- 
vancement of the Redeemer's kingdom. 

III. This Convention shall be composed of delegates annually 
appointed, by the different Associations, Missionary and 
Education Societies within the State and vicinity, i. e., 
each Association contributing to the funds of the Convention 
shall have the right of sending one delegate, and for a con- 
tribution of $50 or more, shall have the right of sending two 
delegates. Each Missionary or Education Society, which 
shall contribute to the funds, shall have the right of sending 
one delegate, and for a contribution of $50 or more, two 
delegates; and each individual contributing $5 annually, 
shall be a member for life, and anyone who shall contril)ute 
$50 at one time, shall be a member of the Board of Trustees 
for life. 

IV. The Convention shall meet annually at such time and place 
as shall l)e appointed, at which time a sermon shall be de- 
livered by a person previously elected, at the close of which 
a collection shall be taken up for the benefit of the Con- 
vention. 

V. At the annual meeting of the Convention there shall be 
chosen by ballot a President, two \'ice Presidents, Corres- 
ponding Secretary, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, and 
one Trustee, who shall constitute a Board of Managers 
eight of whom shall be a (piorum to transact l)usiiiess. 



440 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

VI. It shall be the duty of the President to preside in all meet- 
ings of the Convention and Board of Managers, and in his 
absence one of the Vice Presidents shall fill his place. 

VII. The Corresponding Secretary shall maintain correspondence 
with such individuals and societies as he may think proper, 
or the Board may direct, with a view to aid the great ob- 
jects of the Convention. 

VIII. The Recording Secretary shall register every society which 
becomes an auxiliary, and every member's name, and shall 
keep a fair record of the transactions of the Convention and 
Board of Managers, which shall be liable to their inspection 
whenever requested. 

IX. The Treasurer shall receive all donations made to the Con- 
vention, and give a sufficient security for the funds in his 
possession, and shall pay out on the written order of the 
Board, signed by the Secretary, and shall render an accurate 
statement of accounts at each meeting of the Convention, 
or oftener if required by the Board. 

X. In regard to the funds, contrilmted to the promotion of the 
general objects here contemplated, the Board shall exercise 
discretion in their appropriation, but no moneys, contributed 
for any specific object shall be otherwise applied. They 
also shall have power to make appropriations, from time 
to time, to the General Convention of the Baptist Denomi- 
nation in the United States, — to employ missionaries, de- 
cide on their qualifications, designate the place of their 
labors, and dismiss them at their discretion, and they may 
draw on the treasurer for the amounts due such missiona- 
ries, — appoint agents to collect funds, and at their annual 
meeting shall make a report of their proceedings for the 
past year. 

XI. The Convention shall recognize the independence and 
liberty of the churches of Christ, and shall not in any case 
interfere with their spiritual or secular interests; and no 
decision of this body shall be further binding on any church 
or association, than the decisions of the Associations are 
upon the churches which compose them. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 441 

XII. Whenever a General Convention from State Conventions 
tliroughout the United States, shall be formed, or designed, 
it shall be in the power of this Convention to send delegates 
to meet in such Convention and to instruct them to enter 
into any arrangements to ])romote the interests of religion 
not inconsistent with this Convention, nor with the general 
declaration on which it is founded. 

XIII. It shall be the duty of the delegates, from each Association, 
to present to the Convention a full and correct list of all 
the churches belonging to the Association which they repre- 
sent. This list shall specify the number of churches and 
of members at present, the numbers added, dismissed, ex- 
cluded and deceased, since the last meeting, the number of 
licentiates, and the number of destitute churches, belonging 
to the Association, together with such other information as 
the Convention may, from time to time, request. 

XIV. Any alterations may be made to this Constitution at any 
atmual meeting of the Convention, by three-fourths of the 
members present. 

XV. This Convention may make such by-laws, from time to 
time, as may be thought proper, not incompatilde with this 
Constitution. 

In 1826, the Convention met in the Baptist meeting-house in 
Poultney. Rev. Isaac Sawyer presided. 

Deacon Forbes, Rev. Alvah Sabin and Rev. John Ide, were 
chosen a committee to oljtain from the legislature the grant of 
an act of incorporation for the Convention. 

The Board of Managers reported that the agents appointed 
at the last meeting had organized seventy-five societies, from which 
an income of $1,651 was expected; $20 had been a])])ropriated for 
the church in Dresden, N. Y., for the support of Rev. Isaac Fuller; 
$15 to assist the church in Putney, and $(50 to the church in Rut- 
land, to enable them to obtain a suitable minister to jjreach in East 
Village, in the court house. 

The treasurer's re])ort showed receijjts in money and goods 
amounting to $1,248, received from no less than fifty -four societies 
and associations. 



442 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

At this session a resolution was passed earnestly recommend- 
ing to the churches and ministers to take immediate measures to 
promote the systematic study of the sacred Scriptures. An elabo- 
rate plan for systematic instruction was presented by Mr. Merriam, 
which was endorsed by the Convention. 

In 1827, the Convention met at Mount Holly, October 17. 
Aaron Leland presided and preached the concluding discourse. 

Ira M. Allen was authorized to carry into effect the plan of 
forming county societies, auxiliary to the Convention, to he com- 
posed of primary societies, in order to establish a uniform system 
of operation throughout the State, and it was resolved to employ 
Mr. Allen as agent, until he had passed over the State, agreeable 
to the plan on which he had commenced, and pay him according to 
the agreement made with him by the committee of the Board. 

The Board, in their report at this session, complain of their 
lack of success, and yet show a commendable amount of missionary 
work done. They say, "The principal object of this Convention 
is to amass together all the pecuniary resources of the denomina- 
tion, for the purpose of rendering the most immediate and ef- 
fectual aid to the cause of general benevolence. This object has 
therefore been viewed by us as one of primary importance, and when 
attending to it, we have felt the necessity of having an agent 
constantly employed in forming societies auxiliary to the Conven- 
tion, and promoting a spirit of liberality in the churches. But 
after making diligent and unwearied efforts to obtain a person suit- 
able to act in such a capacity, it is with regret that we state to you 
that we have not succeeded to our wishes." 

The Board employed Rev. Timothy Spaulding as agent in the 
early part of the year. He stated that he had formed sixteen 
primary societies in the towns of Rochester, Middlebury, Bridport, 
Addison, Panton, Bristol, Jericho, Essex, Fairfax, and Cambridge; 
that the sums subscribed would probably amount to $232. The 
whole numl)er of subscribers, two hundred and ninety-two. He 
also stated that '"a part of the societies were flock societies; the 
number of sheep for which keeping has been procured was thirty- 
five. Mr. Spaulding stated that his missionary labors were per- 
formed in the following towns: Chelsea, Brookficld, Washington, 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT -143 

Barre, Plainfield, Orange, Topsham, Bradford, Montpelier, Nor- 
wich, Sterling and Rochester. He found some of these churches 
in a very low state, spiritually; baptized four persons and received, 
while engaged as missionary and agent for the Convention, $31.34, 
and articles of clothing, etc., to a considerable amount, not valued. 

Rev. Joseph Gambrell spent ten weeks with the churches of 
Winhall, Londonderry and Weston. 

The northwest part of the State, adjacent to Lower Canada, 
offered at that time the most extensive and needy field for mission- 
ary effort. There were a few feeble churches, scattered here and 
there, that are described as appearing like stars of the sixth magni- 
tude, and there were few ministers to break the bread of life there. 
The cry from that region was like that from jNlacedonia, "Come 
over and help us," and the Board could not but respond. Rev. 
Marvin Grow was sent and labored in twenty towns, baptizing 
eighteen persons, and reporting revivals in Richford, Montgomery, 
Craftsbury, Maiden and Goshen Gore. 

Rev. John Ide was another missionary sent to that part of the 
State, laboring in sixteen towns. He was gladly received wherever 
he went and baptized seven persons, assisted in organizing one 
church, and formed one auxiliary- society. Rev. Harvey Clark, 
another missionary, was sent across the border into Lower Canada 
and spent about twelve weeks, principally in Stanstead, Barnston, 
Eaton, Bolton, Dunham, St. Armand and Stanl)ridgo. INlr. Harvey 
reported the region very destitute of evangelical i)reaching, and 
that he was ])robably the only Baptist preacher in that region. 

Ira M. Allen, agent of the Convention, during an agency of 
six weeks in Bennington County, traveled five hundred miles, 
origiiuited five primary societies and reorganized sixteen. He 
found many societies in a dying state, their annual meetings having 
passed without notice, and nothing would have been raised l»y 
them had they not been visited by an agent. 

Approi)riations of from $20 to $'25 were made to the churches 
in Dresden, East Clarendon, Pittsford, Dorset and Arlington, and 
one of $60 to the Rutland church, which had been supjilied during 
the year with a pastor and bad erected a new, decent house of 
worship. 



444 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

An appropriation of $33 was made to Hamilton Theological 
School, and $20 given to assist a beneficiary of that school. 

Boxes of clothing were sent to the western missionary sta- 
tions among the Indians, and $300 appropriated to the Burman 
missions. 

One cannot read this report without being impressed with the 
breadth of the missionary spirit of the Convention. 

In 1828, the Board reported that the small amount of funds, 
and the difficulty in obtaining suitable men, had given them much 
perplexity. Home and foreign missions received some support, 
and the circulation of missionary and other religious periodicals 
and publications was encouraged by the Convention and its agents. 
Seven missionaries had been employed from two weeks to three 
months each. In this number of missionaries was Rev. Wm. 
Arthur, widely known now as the father of Ex-President Chester 
Allen Arthur. In his report to the Board he gave a gratifying 
account of his work, which was half the time for six months in 
Richford. He remarks that when the brethren were made ac- 
quainted with his appointment to labor among them as an under 
shepherd, they manifested gratitude to the Giver of every good and 
perfect gift, as also to the Board for their special fostering care ex- 
hibited to them in seasons of peculiar need. He had the pleasure, 
generally, of preaching to large and deeply interested audiences, 
and frequently enjoyed the satisfaction of seeing anxious sinners 
come forward to request prayers. During the period of labor wath 
them, seventeen were added to the church by baptism and three 
by letter. 

The connection of William Arthur with the Convention, and 
his relation to the people of this country as the father of Chester 
Arthur, give special interest to the account of his life and character 
published at the time of his death. He was born in the county of 
Antrim, Ireland, in the year 1797. He sprang from that Scotch- 
Irish stock which is excelled by no other in all those qualities which 
go to make strong, true, independent men. After a thorough pre- 
liminary training, he entered Belfast College and was graduated 
from that institution at the early age of eighteen. Not long after, 
he determined to make the new world his home and accordingly 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 445 

sailed from Liverpool to New York. Proceeding from the metro- 
polis he began his lal)ors in this county as principal of Burlington 
Academy. While maintaining this connection he commenced 
the study of the law, which he subsequently continued in the office 
of Governor Van Ness of Vermont. His future, however, was 
destined to run along a different path, and he had not been long 
at the law before he became convinced, first in his heart and then 
in his mind, that he was called to the ministry. He at once pre- 
pared himself ■v\ath characteristic energy and assiduity for the 
sacred calling, and in due course of time was installed as minister 
of the Baptist church in Bennington. He was subsequently settled 
at Hinesburg, Fairfield and Williston, Vt., and, in 1835, removed to 
western New York. After laboring a while at York, LiAingston 
county, he accepted a call from the Baptist church in Greenwich, 
Washington County, and in that field remained five years. Later 
he removed to Schenectady and had charge successively at Schen- 
ectady, Lansingburg, Hoosick, West Troy and Albany. Among 
his literary labors, the most widely kno\\ai was his work on 
"Family Names." 

A correspondent of the Rutland Herald, probably Dr. Case, 
of Brandon, wrote the following letter to that paper : 

"I send you a few facts concerning the parentage and birth 
of Gen. Arthur, the Republican nominee for Vice President. 
Nearly fifty years ago, the WTiter, then a small boy, lived in a re- 
mote district in the town of Fairfield, Vt., which joins St. Albans 
on the east. I well remember the advent to that neighborhood of 
a Baptist preacher of Iri.sh birth, but of remarkable a1)ility and 
elocjuence. He drew audiences unheard of before in that rustic 
community, where there was a flourishing Bai)tist church. He at 
first ])reached in the district schoolhouse, which soon failed to 
hold half his audience. Finally, a spacious neighl)()nng barn was 
pressed into ser\ice as a place of worship. A meeting-house was 
soon built in which he afterward preached. On moving his family 
to the place of his labors there was no vacant house suitable to re- 
ceive them, as the large families of the farmers filled all desirable 
tenements. The minister and his wife and four young daughters 
moved into a small log cabin, only a few rods from the hiiinble 



446 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

dwelling of my parents, to remain there till a small but comfortable 
parsonage should be built across the way. In this log cabin Chester 
A. Arthur was born. " 

At the session in 1829, the Convention made its first declara- 
tion on the subject of temperance, appointing a committee on that 
subject composed of three strong men — Hadley Proctor, Aaron 
Leland and Alvah Sabin. When we take into account the com- 
paratively low standard of public sentiment at that time upon the 
subject of temperance, the stand taken by the Convention becomes 
an item of history worthy of record. The report of the committee 
sounded a note of uncompromising hostility to the use and sale 
of intoxicants. The report: 

"The committee on the subject of intemperance beg leave 
to report that they consider the evil of intemperance as one of an 
alarming nature, and while they are pleased with the powerful 
check which it has received, it is still evident that much more must 
be done before the remedy will be equal to the disease. It is the 
duty of all christians to use their influence to advance the cause of 
temperance, and especially should the ministers of religion lift up 
their voice and cry aloud until the alarm be sounded through all 
the land, and the means of suppressing the evil be known and suc- 
cessfully employed. It is the duty of every christian to adopt as 
his maxim, in relation to this subject, 'Touch not. Taste not. 
Handle not. ' Wherefore, 

"Resolved, 1. That it be recommended, that all persons, and 
especially professors of religion, wholly abstain from the use of 
inebriating liquors. 

"2. That it be recommended to the several churches to take 
the subject into consideration, and adopt such measures as will best 
promote temperance, and report next year to the Convention their 
doings on the subject. 

"3. That this Convention approve of the object and measures 
of the American Society for promoting temperance, and recom- 
mend to the churches a cooperation with that body to the extent 
of its ability. 

"Hadley Proctor, Chairman." 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 447 

Another important incident marked the session of the Conven- 
tion in 1829. "On the expediency of forming a Sabbath School 
Union for the Baptist Denomination in this State, the churches by 
their delegates were agreed; therefore, Resolved, that we proceed 
to form a Baptist Sunday School Union for the State of Vermont. " 
Jonathan Merriam, Leland Howard and Cyrus W. Hodges, were 
appointed to draft a constitution, which, after amendments, was 
adopted and the Union organized by choice of Rev. Proctor, presi- 
dent; Rev. Jonathan Merriam, corresponding secretary; and Eli 
B. Smith, recording secretary. A committee was appointed to 
prepare a suitable address to the churches which, with the constitu- 
tion, was printed in the Vermont Telegraph, a paper which was re- 
garded as an important auxiliary in promoting the various objects 
of the Convention. This organization was maintained until 1844, 
when it was merged into the State Convention. 

The year 1830, was one of great religious interest throughout 
the churches in most of the Associations.. The baptisms for the 
year were one thousand, three hundred and twenty -nine. The 
Board reported the missionary work as encouraging, considering 
the amount of funds at their disposal, $1,G09. Six missionaries 
were employed, mostly for short periods of time, and thirteen 
churches were aided, among them the Burlington church, which was 
organized that year, and was aided to the amount of $100. The 
great destitution of pastors in the northern parts of the State, to- 
gether with the inability of the Board to procure suitable men to 
supply vacancies, led them to recommend to such churches to unite 
in forming circuits of suitable size, and to employ one or more min- 
isters to preach to them. Rev. J. M. Graves was appointed agent 
of the Convention to assist the churches in forming such circuits. 
Committees in each association were also ajJiiointcd to carry the 
measure into effect. 

At this anniversary was formed the \'ermont Branc-li of tlie 
Northern Bai)tist Education Society. This society, of which 
further account will be given, was maintained till 184.), when it 
was merged into the State Convention. 

The next anniversary, in 1831, was one of deej) and thrilling 
interest. A large majority of the churches had enjoyed a glorious 



448 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

refreshing from the presence of the Lord — one thousand, two hun- 
dred and sixty -three baptisms were reported for the year. The 
circuit system so far as organized had worked well. Eight mis- 
sionaries were employed, most of them for short seasons. 

Some of the aided churches had been specially blessed by re- 
vival influences and additions to their membership. The Arhngton 
church had received thirty by baptism; Middletown was rejoicing 
in the addition of fifty, nearly all youth and children. The pastor 
of the WaHingford church had baptized forty; Williston had re- 
ceived thirteen converts; Londonderry and Weston each had re- 
ceived fifteen. Burlington alone is mentioned with discourage- 
ment. Brother Winegar, after laboring there eighteen weeks, 
thought the prospect not very flattering for a Baptist church 
there. They had no convenient place of worship. 

At this session, which was held in Ludlow, the Convention 
appointed a l^oard of twenty -five trustees "to take measures to 
establish a literary institution in this State. " This action resulted 
in the founding at Brandon, in 1833, of the Vermont Literary and 
Scientific Institution, which school, in its day, did good service in 
the cause of education, but for want of adequate support did not 
realize the hopes of the founders. 

The year 1832, was also a year of unusual spiritual prosperity. 
About one thousand, six hundred souls were gathered into the 
churches by baptism. The receipts of the Convention were large, 
amounting to $2,347. The domestic mission work was carried 
on in the northern part of the State and in Canada, though by 
fewer missionaries and with less vigor than for a few years pre- 
vious. Fewer churches also were aided than before. Foreign 
missions absorbed, and naturally, a larger share of the interest of 
the churches that year. Since its organization the Convention 
had taken a deep interest in the Burman mission. During the 
six years it had contributed more than $1,000 to its work. Now 
the relation was to be still more intimate and sympathetic, for one 
of their own number was to be a missionary there, and for this 
event the churches had been preparing, having raised some $1,800 
for the outfit, passage money, and support of Nathan Brown and 
his wife, who were soon to sail as " our missionaries to Burma.'" 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 449 

The Convention at this session pledged itself to support the 
Rev. Nathan Brown and wife, "while they shall labor as mission- 
aries under the approbation of the Bajitist General Convention. " 

The Board in its report says, "This field has now become ex- 
ceedingly dear to us, from the circumstance that one of ourselves 
has taken a commission to labor in it, nursed in our churches, set 
apart to the work of a missionary by our hands, clothed, fur- 
nished, and sent forth l)y our liberality, known to our eyes, loved 
by our hearts, and to be sustained through the toils of his life by 
the aid we have pledged; we are, it is believed, ready to say, as 
was said to the first mission from England : while Nathan Brown 
is in the well, we will hold him up — we will not let go the rope. " 

Although Dr. Brown was not born in Vermont, and was edu- 
cated in Massachusetts, yet, as he removed with his parents to 
Whitingham the year after his birth, and was ordained and sent 
out from this State, he is appropriately claimed as our representa- 
tive. He was born in New Ipswich, N. H., in 1807. He was con- 
verted at the age of nine years and received into the \Yhitingham 
church, August 5, 1816. He was graduated from Williams College 
in 1827. After graduation he was one of the associate principals 
in the Bennington Seminary, in 1829, having taught formerly in 
Sunderland and Ipswich, Mass., and Concord, N. H., thus earning 
money to pay his del:»ts incurred during his college course. Here 
he became acquainted with William Lloyd (iarrison, then editor 
of the Bennington Times, and the intimacy doubtless deepened 
and intensified his anti-shiA-ery \iews. 

He was dismissed from the Whitingham church to unite with 
the Bennington church, March 6, 1830. On the sixth of May, 
1830, he married Eliza Ballard, who was born in Charlmont, 
Mass., April 12, 1807, and was educated at Framingham, Mass., 
and later at Sanderson Academy in Buckland, Mass., then under 
the charge of Miss Mary. Lyon. For a while they resided at Bran- 
don, and Mr. l^rown was editor of The Vermont Telegraph. He was 
a member, for a short season, of the church in Rutland, antl was 
ordained there as a missionary to Burma. August lo, 1832. They 
embarked for Burma, December 21, 1832, and arrived in Bengal, 
May 2, 1833. 



450 HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN VERMONT 

As a translator, philologist, poet and philanthropist. Dr. 
Brown met the highest expectations of those who were so interested 
in his going to the foreign field. 

Dr. and Mrs. Brown, in consequence of conscientious scruples 
in regard to the receipt of money from slave-holders, for the sup- 
port of missions, returned to this country in 1855. 

For fifteen years he was editor of the American Baptist, the 
organ of the American Free Baptist Mission Society. While he 
was in this post, he was one of a committee of three, who visited 
President Lincoln, to urge the issue of the Emancipation Proclama- 
tion. The difference among northern Baptists in regard to 
slavery having been settled by the war of the rebellion, Mr. Brown 
accepted an appointment from the missionary union as a mission- 
ary to Japan, and reached there in February, 1873, when he was 
sixty-five years old. Having translated the New Testament into 
that language, finishing it in 1847, he now did a kindred work for 
the Japanese, completing it in 1879. He died January 1, 1886, 
aged seventy -nine years. 

Mrs. EHza Brown died in 1871. On the 24th of July, 1872, 
Dr. Brown married Mrs. Charlotte A. (Worth) Marlitt. 

The joy of the delegates at this session, in 1832, was tempered 
with sadness on account of the death of one of its foremost mem- 
bers. Elder Aaron Leland. At the close of the annual report, the 
Board pay a brief but fitting tribute of respect to the venerable 
Father Leland, "who had for the last five years, with no ordinary 
diligence and patience, presided over the deliberations of your 
Board, and taken a very active part in all the business of the Con- 
vention. Prompt in his attendance upon all the meetings of the 
Board and Convention, ever ready to unite with all the friends of 
Zion in all measures to advance her interests, we feel that we may 
be allowed to imitate the conduct of the ancient Israelites, who 
mourned when they saw that Aaron was dead." 

At this meeting also the Convention voted to become an auxil- 
iary of the American Baptist Home Missionary Society, and or- 
ganized a board of managers to act as an executive committee 
for home missions. Of this board, Alva Sabin was })resident and 
G. B. Ide, secretary. 



HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IX VERMONT 451 

In their report on the state of religion for 1833, it appears that 
the churches were generally prosperous, although in the Barre 
Association the condition was said to be deplorable. It had four- 
teen churches and only three were ordained ministers. The Board 
appropriated $200 to support circuit preaching in eight towns in 
the northwestern portion of the Danville Association, and Brethren 
Downs, Powell and Jonathan Baldwin preached on the circuit 
wath much success. Earnest effort had been made to secure an 
effective agent for the Convention and Rev. J. M. Graves had been 
engaged, but for special reasons he had been able to give but ten 
weeks to this work. At one of its meetings the Board, having 
sought in vain to secure an efficient agent, apjjointcd every Bap- 
tist minister in the State an agent of the Convention. But the 
result approved the wisdom of the old adage, "What is everj^- 
body's business is nobody's," as the receipts for the year were 
only $755, the smallest amount reported since the first year of the 
Convention, when the Board began by appointing twenty agents. 

At this session, added to the usual committees was one on 
tracts. On this was the untiring Hadley Proctor and Edward 
Mitchell. In their report they refer to the general utility of tracts, 
as proven by their success in the foreign mission work, and by the 
increasing demand for them throughout the world. The report 
concludes -wnth the resolution, "(1) That we feel a deej) interest 
in the affairs of the Baptist General Tract Society and approve 
both their general and denominational pul)lications; (2) That we 
purchase the Depository at Brandon and take the whole manage- 
ment of the concern; (3) That we furnish all our domestic mis- 
sionaries a suitable portion of tracts for gratuitous distril)uti()n. " 

The sessions of the Convention were adjourned three hours 
to give time for the anniversary of the Education Society. 

In 1834, the Convention held its anniversary at North Spring- 
field. Mr. Joab Seely, agent of the American Bible Society, ad- 
dressed the Convention in relation to the work of that society, and 
was commended to the patronage of the Baptist churches of Ver- 
mont, among which he was then traveling. 

Rev. Bela Jacobs, secretary of the Western Baptist Kilucation 
Society, gave an interesting account of the efforts in operation to 



452 HISTORY OF TH